The Japanese national team, which will participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, has confirmed the final roster including five major leaguers, including Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres).
Japanese baseball team coach Hideki Kuriyama (61) held a press conference in Tokyo on the 26th and announced the final list of 30 WBC players. 스포츠토토
Previously, on the 6th, Japan announced 12 participating players, including 4 major leaguers: Ohtani, Darvish, Suzuki Seiya (Chicago Cubs), and Lars Nutba (St. Louis Cardinals). On this day, manager Kuriyama announced the addition of Boston outfielder Masataka Yoshida. Yoshida signed a large contract with Boston for 5 years and 90 million dollars (approximately 110.9 billion won) and is about to make his big league debut.
In addition, 25 players were evenly selected from 12 Japanese professional baseball teams, including Hotaka Yamakawa (Seibu Lions), Tetsuto Yamada (Yakult Swallows), and Kazuma Okamoto (Yomiuri Giants), and 30 players were confirmed. By position, there are 15 pitchers, 3 catchers, 7 infielders and 5 outfielders.
Nikkan Sports, a Japanese sports magazine, introduced that the average age of the Japanese national team is 27.3 years old, which is the youngest compared to the previous four WBC national teams. The youngest player is Chunichi Dragons right-hander Hiroto Takahashi (21), and the oldest is 37-year-old Darvish.
In the Japanese media, there is also an evaluation that a generational change has been achieved in a year and a half since the Tokyo Olympics. However, some pointed out that there is no leader like Ichiro in this national team.
Also, the number of 15 pitchers is said to be the highest number ever in the Japanese WBC national team. This is because of the nature of the tournament, which has restrictions on the number of pitches for starting pitchers.
The WBC was founded in 2006 and has been held four times so far. Japan reached the top in 2006 and 2009 and reached the semifinals in 2013 and 2017.
Korea and Japan, which are organized in Group B and will face each other in the first round of the finals, will play a match against Korea and Japan at the WBC for the first time in 14 years.