Speedy Veteran To Serve as Leadoff Hitter, Former Mariners Prospect Bound for Starting Rotation

(February 21, 2023, York, Pa.) — The York Revolution have signed Japanese big league veteran outfielder Tomo Otosaka and right-handed starting pitcher Pedro Vasquez for the 2023 season. The signings were announced by Revs manager Rick Forney live on Monday’s episode of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.


Otosaka comes to North America having spent 10 seasons playing in his native Japan, including eight seasons at the big-league level with his hometown Yokohama BayStars. A veteran of 468 games in Nippon Professional Baseball, Otosaka made his big-league debut at age 20 in 2014 following two years with Yokohama’s minor league club and homered in his debut game for his first career hit. Otosaka batted .229 in the majors and starred in multiple playoff runs for the BayStars. The 29-year-old slugged a game-winning three-run homer in a postseason game at Hanshin in 2017 and cracked a walk-off homer in 2019 vs. Hanshin to help the BayStars avoid elimination.

A left-handed hitter with speed, Otosaka has batted .272 with 128 stolen bases in the minors and spent last season in the Mexican League, where he combined to hit .367 with a .448 on-base percentage for Leon and Saltillo and ranked seventh in the league with 79 runs scored in 78 games played, third in the league with 26 stolen bases, and fourth in the league with five triples. He has also spent three off-seasons playing winter ball in the Caribbean, combining for a .332 average including a .333 mark with 37 runs scored, 15 stolen bases, and a .432 on-base percentage in 56 games in Venezuela this winter.

“His agent reached out and said he wanted an opportunity to play in North America, and we were able to put it together really fast,” said Forney. “Tomo’s really excited to be a Rev, and I’m excited to have him. I’m looking at him to be my leadoff hitter and play center field, get on base, and make some things happen and score some runs. I’m very much looking forward to having him.”

Otosaka becomes the second Japanese-born player to suit up for the Revs, joining fellow former Yokohama BayStars outfielder Kaz Tanaka, who played in York during the franchise’s first two seasons in 2007 and 2008.

Vasquez projects to join the Revs starting rotation as the 27-year-old embarks on his ninth pro season. The 6 foot 4 righty originally signed with the Seattle Mariners in 2015 and combined to go 13-6 with a 2.16 ERA in his first two seasons as a young prospect, garnering Dominican Summer League All-Star honors after leading the circuit with eight wins as a rookie. Vasquez was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization at the end of the 2016 minor league season and was a Florida State League All-Star with Bradenton in 2017, going 9-7 with a 3.73 ERA. He was bumped to Double-A for most of the following season and was an Eastern League All-Star with Altoona in 2019, when he went 8-5 with a 2.71 ERA. That season also saw Vasquez earn a promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he worked six scoreless on just one hit allowed in his International League debut.

Vasquez appeared in three MLB Spring Training games for the Pirates in 2020 before the minor league season was cancelled. He has spent the past four seasons pitching in the Dominican Winter League for Toros del Este, combining on a 3.27 ERA the last two winters. The control artist carries a career 36-33 record with a 3.34 ERA and has walked just 1.9 batters per 9 innings with a career WHIP of 1.13.

“I’ve been chasing this guy for a couple of years,” said Forney. “He’s a good pitcher, has a nice resume, throws a lot of strikes, competes really well, stuff is still good. I talked to some of his winter ball teammates, and they said nothing but great things. He’s still hungry and wants to get back, and I’m anxious to bring him on board.”

The Revs now have six player signings announced for the 2023 season, with Forney scheduled to announce more player signings on the next episode of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on Monday, February 27, at 6 p.m. live on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK, 989woyk.com, and The New WOYK app.