How long do you think the MLB-drafted players can wait to make it to the show? Maybe, it is three to four years for most, but Kyle Higashioka had to wait nearly ten years after the draft until his MLB debut.
Kyle is an American-born professional baseball catcher playing for the New York Yankees of the MLB.
Before his professional league debut, Higashioka played college baseball for the California Golden Bears. However, his stay at the University of California, Berkeley, was brief.
Furthermore, let’s dive deeper into Kyle Higashioka’s early life, net worth, salary, personal life, and everything that concerns us as his fans.
But before proceeding any further, let’s check out some quick facts about Kyle.
|Full Name||Kyle Harris Higashioka|
|Known as||Kyle Higashioka|
|Birth Date||April 20, 1990|
|Birth Place||Huntington Beach, California|
|Education||•Edison High School (Huntington Beach, California)
• the University of California, Berkeley (United States)
•Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa, California)
|Father’s Name||Ted Higashioka|
|Mother’s Name||Diane Higashioka|
|Age||33 Years Old|
|Height||1.85 m (6 feet 1 inch)|
|Weight||91 kg (202 lb)|
|MLB debut||April 10, 2017|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
|Playstyle||Bats: Right, Throws: Right|
|Wife’s Name||Alyse Higashioka|
|Net Worth||$1 – $5 million|
|Currently Plays for||New York Yankees|
|League||Major League Baseball (MLB)|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter|
|Merch||Baseball Trading Card|
|Last Update||November 2023|
Kyle Higashioka | Early Life, Parents & Education
Kyle Harris Higashioka, commonly known as Kyle Higashioka, was born on April 20, 1990, in Huntington Beach, California. He is the eldest son of his parents, Ted and Diane Higashioka.
Besides, he has a younger brother in the family whom he cares for deeply.
Born and brought up in Huntington Beach, Kyle is a fourth-generation Japanese-American living in California. Higashioka’s great-grandfather and his family had migrated to the USA before the Second World War.
His grandfather, Shigeru Higashioka, was a war veteran who had fought for the American Army in Europe and earned a Bronze Star.
His father, Ted, was a resident of Japan for several years during his childhood as his family later lived and returned to Japan. Shigeru had taken his family back to Japan as he worked there as an oil company executive.
After spending several years, Ted came back to the USA and settled in Huntington Beach. Once he returned, he felt no need to speak Japanese much as they had very few Japanese neighbors where they lived.
As a result, his son Kyle too never thought of learning about his heritage.
Instead, as Kyle came across more Spanish-speaking friends while growing up, he felt the need to learn it and is quite proficient in Spanish other than English. He only started taking Japanese language classes when he met the Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
Now, it has already been more than four years since he started taking up an interest in his Japanese roots, their people, and their culture. Higashioka finally feels content and admits that having a family with mixed family background is a blessing.
Higashioka’s mother, Diane, is a White American.
Growing up alongside his younger brother in California, Kyle and his sibling attended Edison High School in Huntington Beach. After graduating high school, he enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley, for higher education.
Although he had initially intended to pursue his baseball career after graduating, he left his college studies unfinished after signing a contract with the New York Yankees.
However, he later joined the Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa and studied Mechanical Engineering as promised to his mother, Diane.
Kyle Higashioka | Career
Minor Leagues Career
Soon after New York Yankees selected him in the seventh round while out of high school, Kyle decided to pursue his professional baseball career. He was with the Tampa Yankees and Trenton Thunder throughout 2012, playing Class A-Advanced State Leagues.
However, Kyle missed almost two seasons after he suffered a severe injury at the end of the 2012 season. He hurt his thumb and elbow so seriously that he had to undergo Tommy John surgery to recover from his elbow injury fully.
Fortunately, the 2016 season for Kyle was pretty satisfactory. He initially played for the Trenton Thunder in Class AA Eastern League, and his performance was awe-inspiring.
Consequently, he got an opportunity to play for the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, a Triple-A affiliate club of the Yankees. In 2017, the Yankees promoted Higashioka to the major league after their catcher Gary Sanchez suffered an injury.
Eventually, after ten years of his draft selection, Kyle Higashioka made his MLB debut as a defensive replacement on April 10, 2017. Sadly, he had to return to RailRiders in May after Sanchez recovered from his injuries.
The rest of the 2017 season was unpredictable and irregular for him. He moved back and forth between MiLB and MLB, with a knee injury complicating things for him in the meantime.
Higashioka started his 2018 season with the RailRiders, but the Yankees called him back to the major league after Sanchez suffered another injury. This time, Kyle played 72 matches, averaging .167/.241/.319 at-bats.
Kyle succeeded in the later seasons even though he did not get many matches to play for the Yankees. In addition, he set some new records, such as becoming the 24th Yankee to have a three-home run game in 2019 and the first Yankee to catch a no-hitter since 1999 in 2021.
Higashioka has already started playing as a prominent catcher for the Yankees now and is doing pretty well in the ongoing season.
Career Achievements & Accolades
Some of Kyle’s achievements are:
- Roberto Clemente Award nominee (2021)
- FSL Mid-Season All-Star (2015)
- International League Player of the Week (2016)
- Yankee’s Best Defensive Catcher (2017)
Kyle Higashioki | Net Worth, Contract & Salary
The Yankee baseball catcher, Kyle Higashioki, has a net worth between $1 million and $5 million.
Kyle had signed a contract with the New York Yankees in 2008 after they picked him in the MLB draft. Even though he did not play any big matches until 2017, Kyle received $500k as a signing bonus in 2008.
Following that signing, Kyle played for around ten years, playing minor leagues for different teams, surviving with an average earning of just $15k per year. Finally, in 2017, he signed a new one-year contract worth $535k with the Yankees.
The player has already made over $3 million in his MLB career to date. Moreover, his base salary for the ongoing 2022 is $935,000.
Age & External Features
As of 2023, Kyle Higashioka is 33 years old.
About his physical stats, Kyle stands 1.85 meters (6 feet 1 inch) tall and weighs around 202 lb (91 kg). Furthermore, the Yankee player has black colored hair and dark brown eyes.
Kyle Higashioka | Personal Life
The handsome-looking Yankee catcher has many fans who truly have crushes on him. Sadly for them, Kyle is a married man and is very happy that he is married to his longtime girlfriend, Alyse.
You can tell how happy he is to have her by going through his Insta profile, whose bio reads, “I am a married baseball player.” Besides, the player’s social media handle is full of appreciation posts for his beautiful wife.
Talking more about Alyse, she is a little older than Kyle as she was born on April 3, 1990, just seventeen days before he was born. After years of dating, the two eventually tied their knots on November 13, 2016.
They do not have kids yet but have a pet dog named Millie.
Good Guy, Kyle!
Apart from being a professional baseball player and an exemplary family man, Kyle has made a reputation for being a good guy among people outside the game. He is well-known as a devout supporter of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF).
SOWF is a non-profit organization that helps the families of dead and wounded special operations personnel. Kyle has provided financial support to the organization numerous times and often participates in fund collection.
Similarly, Higashioka is an avid supporter of the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, which he visits during his free time and spends hours counseling and helping the youth players aspiring to be Major Leaguers in the future.
For his various commendable works outside baseball, the New York chapter of the BBWAA awarded Kyle the Ben Epstein/ Dan Castellano Good Guy Award in 2021.
Social Media Presence
Frequently Asked Questions
What jersey number does Kyle Higashioka wear?
Kyle Higashioka wears jersey number 66 for the New York Yankees.
Does Kyle Higashioka watch English Premier League (EPL)?
Yes, Kyle Higashioka follows the EPL very closely. He is a die-hard fan of the English football club, Liverpool FC.