A strong major league player is more important than domestic league records in Japan.
When Japanese-American outfielder Lars Nutba (26) was decided to join the Japanese national team in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), there was a dropout. Koji Chikamoto (28), an outfielder for the Hanshin Tigers who was the king of stolen bases and the most hits, was the victim. The Japanese media predicted that Jikamoto, whose elimination was certain, would be included in the list of reserve players who could be put in as a substitute in case of an injury.
As the first foreign player joined, a Japanese outfielder position disappeared. The Japanese national team, which is aiming for the championship, decided to change in order to strengthen its competitiveness. Six to seven Japanese major league players are listed, but Nutba is the only one to make the national team.
The WBC, a national competition, is different in nature from other international competitions. Players can compete as representative players according to their parents, grandparents’ lineage, and nationality. Nutba is an American national born to a Dutch-American father and a Japanese mother.
Chikamoto is a center fielder with both offense and defense. He entered the team with the first pick in the rookie draft and has been active as a main player since the first year in 2009. He has established himself as the league’s leading outfielder over the past four years. He ranked first in stolen bases in 2019–2020 and in 2022, and ranked first in hits in 2021.
For the first time in Japanese professional baseball, he won the stealing king for two consecutive years from his rookie season. He also had 159 hits, the most by a Central League rookie. He has good outfield defense that utilizes his quick feet. He won the Golden Glove in 2021-2022 consecutively, and was selected as the best 9 for the second consecutive year. He had a career batting average of .29 2 over his four years, with 630 hits, 31 home runs, 171 RBIs and 121 stolen bases.
Nutba, who debuted in the major leagues in June 2021, is not a top-class player in the major leagues. In 108 games last year, his second year in the major leagues, he went 2.2 8 Lee (66 hits in 290 at-bats), hit 14 home runs and 40 RBIs.
Excluding the double-digit home runs, it’s not an impressive performance. He earned $700,000 last year, the lowest salary in the major leagues. 먹튀검증
Japan national team coach Hideki Kuriyama (62) paid attention to the ‘home run’. Nutba is 1m90, 95kg and has good physical condition. He is a left-handed hitter with more power than contact.
So far, four outfielders have been confirmed for the national team: Seiya Suzuki (29, Chicago Cubs), Kensuke Kondo (30, Softbank Hawks), Masataka Yoshida (29, Boston Red Sox), and Nutba. Three out of four players are major league players. Kondo, who has been in his 12th year as a professional, is a veteran with experience in international competitions, participating in the 2019 Promier 12 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a representative.
I think we might see a major league outfield lineup with three players. Japanese media reported that Yoshida is likely to play in left field, Nutba in center field, and Suzuki in right field.