Japan 2023 World Baseball Classic Roster

Image credit: Shohei Ohtani (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI/AFP) (Photo by YUICHI YAMAZAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Japan announced its 30-man roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic on Thursday afternoon.

Padres ace Yu Darvish and Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani lead a loaded pitching staff while Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki and newly-signed Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida anchor a dangerous lineup. Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar, whose mother is Japanese, is also on the team and is the only player on the roster who was not born and raised in Japan.

In addition to the five major leaguers, the team features most of the top stars in Nippon Professional Baseball. Roki Sasaki, the 21-year-old phenom who thew Japan’s first perfect game in 28 years last season, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who has won back-to-back Sawamura Awards as NPB’s top pitcher, join Darvish and Ohtani on the pitching staff. The lineup will include third baseman Munetaka Murakami, who hit 56 home runs last season to break Sadaharu Oh’s single-season home run record by a Japanese-born player.

The team will be managed by Hideki Kuriyama, who is making his debut as national team manager. Kuriyama managed the Nippon Ham Fighters from 2012-21 and helped develop Ohtani in Japan.

Update: Outfielder Seiya Suzuki has withdrawn from the WBC due to a hamstring injury. Second baseman/outfielder Taisei Makihara has been added as an injury replacement.

Yu Darvish San Diego Padres
Shota Imanaga DeNA BayStars
Hiromi Ito Nippon Ham Fighters
Ryoji Kuribayashi Hiroshima Carp
Yuki Matsui Rakuten Eagles
Hiroya Miyagi Orix Buffaloes
Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Angels
Taisei Ota Yomiuri Giants
Roki Sasaki Lotte Marines
Hiroto Takahashi Yakult Swallows
Keiji Takahashi Yakult Swallows
Shosei Togo Yomiuri Giants
Yuki Udagawa Orix Buffaloes
Yoshinobu Yamamoto Orix Buffaloes
Atsuki Yuasa Hanshin Tigers
Takuya Kai SoftBank Hawks
Yuhei Nakamura Yakult Swallows
Takumi Oshiro Yomiuri Giants
Sosuke Genda Seibu Lions
Shugo Maki DeNA BayStars
Taisei Makihara SoftBank Hawks
Munetaka Murakami Yakult Swallows
Takumu Nakano Hanshin Tigers
Kazuma Okamoto Yomiuri Giants
Ukyo Shuto SoftBank Haws
Tetsuto Yamada Yakult Swallows
Hotaka Yamakawa Seibu Lions
Kensuke Kondo SoftBank Hawks
Lars Nootbaar St. Louis Cardinals
Masataka Yoshida Boston Red Sox

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