JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — 1B Josh Whitesell left the “AAA” Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) in June to join the Tokyo Yokult Swallows. So how’s he doing so far?

Jewish Baseball News checked, and it turns out he’s kicking butt.

Through Aug. 22, the 28-year-old former major-leaguer was batting .324 with 10 HRs and 34 RBIs in just 136 at-bats. Whitesell leads the Swallows in on-base percentage (.436), slugging percentage (.647), and on-base plus slugging (1.083). His rate of one HR per 13.6 at bats is by far the club’s best. And despite having no experience with the smaller Japanese strike zone, few teammates walk more often than Whitesell.

According to a recent article in the Japanese press (8/10/2010), Whitesell has provided a “big boost” to the Swallows, helping it win roughly 70% of its games. (Overall, the team has a 53-54 record this season, along with two tie games.)

Financially speaking, Whitesell was smart to leave for Japan. Although he arrived roughly 70 games into the season, he reportedly is receiving more than $300,000 to play the remainder, far more than he would have made with the Chiefs.

Whether his stellar performance will make him more marketable back in the U.S., however, remains to be seen.