The Chinese national team participating in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) put forward players from Korea and Japan, respectively, as leaders to lead the mound and bat.
Pitcher Ju Kwon, who plays for kt wiz of Korea Professional Baseball (KBO), decided to participate in the WBC as a Chinese national team 토토사이트for two consecutive tournaments, followed by Masago Yusuke, who played for Softbank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), also joined China. As a result, China has put forward players with rich professional experience in Korea and Japan as pillars.
Japan’s Mainichi Newspaper and other media announced on the 8th that Masago was selected as the WBC China representative. Born in Kyoto and raised in Japan, Masago has Japanese nationality, but this time he wore the Chinese national team uniform according to the WBC rules, which allow him to compete according to his parent’s nationality. Masago was born to a Chinese father and a Japanese mother.
Right-handed outfielder Masago made his first-team debut in 2017 after being nominated by Softbank with the fourth pick in the 2012 draft. Until last year, he only had a batting average of 0.219 (46 hits in 210 at-bats), 3 homers and 16 RBIs in 180 games for 6 seasons.
He played 79 games, his personal best, in 2021, but was released after a slump in 29 games last year with a batting average of 0.071 (2 hits in 28 at-bats). Afterwards, he participated in a joint tryout with 12 NPB clubs, but was not called up by any team, and from this year he decided to continue his career as a player at Hitachi, a strong team in social baseball.
Nevertheless, Masago is Korea’s No. 1 wary target. Masago, who participated in the U-23 Baseball World Cup held in Mexico in 2016 as a member of the Japanese national team, played an active role with a batting average of 0.387 (12 hits in 31 bats), 4 home runs and 14 RBIs in 9 games. He was first in the tournament in home runs and first in slugging percentage (0.935). In particular, in the first game of the Super Round against Korea, he hit a solo home run to Ji-seop Lim in the 7th inning, which was trailing 0-1. At that time, Japan won the match 2-1 after 10 overtime matches. Masago, who led Japan to the championship as the fourth hitter, was also selected as the MVP and Best Nine of the tournament.
Another media, ‘Sports Hochi’, said, “Masago is a creepy existence even in Japan. China is Japan’s first opponent on March 9th. In the 2017 tournament, it is a team that is one level below their skills, such as winning 7-1, but the first game has to fight with tension,” he said. With the addition of Masago, who played for Softbank for 10 years, there is a risk that information on Japanese players will be exposed.”
China belongs to Group B along with Korea, Japan, Australia and the Czech Republic, and will play the first round at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. China faces Japan in its first match on March 9, then the Czech Republic on the 10th, Australia on the 11th, and Korea on the 13th.