Japan, which faces Lee Kang-cheol-ho in the first round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), first announced 12 participating players, including Shohei Otani (LA Angels).
Japanese baseball team coach Hideki Kuriyama held a press conference in Tokyo, Japan on the 6th and unveiled the 12 players on the 2023 WBC final roster (30).
Japan is planning to challenge for the third WBC championship in its career following the 2006 and 2009 tournaments with the best fighting power, and a large number of active major leaguers are included.
Ohtani, who became the first MLB pitcher to record 15 wins and hit 30 home runs last year, pitcher Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres) and outfielder Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs), three major leaguers were listed first.
In addition, Rocky Sasaki (Chiba Lotte), 안전놀이터 Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes), Shota Imanaga (Yokohama DeNA Baystars), Shōsei Dogo (Yomiuri Giants, ideal pitcher), and Takuya Guy (soft pitcher), who achieved the youngest perfect game in Japanese professional baseball, Bank Hawks, catcher), Genda Sosuke (Seibu Lions), Murakami Munetaka (Yakult Swallows), Maki Shugo (Yokohama, ideal infielder), and Kondo Kensuke (Softbank, outfielder) were also included in the final list.
The most elite members were built. Yamamoto is an ace who won the pitcher’s triple crown (ERA, wins, strikeouts) for two consecutive years, and Murakami won the batting triple crown (batting average, home run, RBI) with a new record of 56 homers, the most by a Japanese player last year.
Ohtani, who will be participating in the WBC for the first time, sat together at the press conference that day and expressed his aspirations for the tournament. He said, “I will run only with the goal of winning as many great players have gathered,” he said.
Then, recalling the memory of watching the Korea-Japan match at the WBC in 2006, “It was fun just to see the best players in Japan play against the best players in other countries. This time, I will make sure that I can play well like that (as a player).” He expressed his desire to give a dream to him.
Japan will announce the players that will be included in the remaining 18 spots on the final roster later this month. And starting from February 16th, they will conduct battery training in Miyazaki and have practice matches with Softbank, Chunichi Dragons, Hanshin Tigers, and Orix.
Japan was placed in Group B with Korea, Australia, China, and the Czech Republic in the first round of the WBC. Sookmyung’s Korea-Japan match is scheduled to take place on March 10th at the Tokyo Dome.