The 12 key players for the Japanese national team to participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March have been announced.
After announcing the list of the Japanese national team, the Japanese media ‘Sponichi Annex’ said, “Coach Hideki Kuriyama 토토 expects that a hero will be born at the WBC.” Coach Kuriyama said, “There will always be a player called ‘Thanks to that’.”
Including Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), who became a star in the US Major League through “two jobs”, San Diego Padres Yu Darvish (36), Orix ace Yamamoto Yoshinobu (24), Lotte Sasaki Rocky (21), Yokohama DeNA lefty Imana Shotai , Yomiuri right-hander Dogo Shosei (22), and six other pitchers were selected.
As infielders, Yakult Murakami Muneta (22), the first Japanese to hit 56 homers, Seibu shortstop Genda Sosuke (29) and Yokohama second baseman Shugo Maki (24) were selected.
In the outfield, Seiya Suzuki (28) of the Chicago Cubs and Kensuke Kondo (28) of Softbank, who hit 14 home runs in their debut season in the big leagues, were named. The catcher was Softbank Guy Takuya (30).
The main players of each team, including Ohtani, Suzuki, and Murakami, are batters the Korean national team should be wary of. Ohtani, Suzuki, and Murakami are players who are showing their long hitting power in the US and Japan.
Ohtani posted 15 wins (9 losses) as a pitcher in the 2022 season, and as a hitter, he had a batting average of 2.7 3, 34 homers and 95 RBIs. Suzuki racked up 46 RBIs with a double-digit home run from his big league debut season. These are the players to watch out for.