Japan 2023 World Baseball Classic Roster
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Update: Outfielder Seiya Suzuki has withdrawn from the WBC due to a hamstring injury.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|