The most interested player in this World Baseball Classic (WBC) is Japan’s Shohei Ohtani.
There is even talk of the WBC of Ohtani, by Ohtani, and for Ohtani. Ohtani brought the protagonist of the ‘Baseball Cartoon’ to reality for two consecutive seasons in 2021 and 2022, causing ‘Ohtani-mania’ among baseball fans around the world.
It was in 2021 that he received the MVP, but the more eye-catching season was actually last year. This is because for the first time in history, he fulfilled both the required at-bats and the prescribed innings, realizing a true ‘two-hitting career’.
He has not yet climbed the mound after joining the Japanese national team. However, at bat, he shows off his strength. On the 6th (hereinafter Korean time), in the official evaluation match against the Hanshin Tigers held at Kyocera Dome in Osaka, he hit a home run in consecutive hits and raised the atmosphere of the WBC.
In particular, the scene in the 3rd inning when Hanshin starter Hiroto Saiki hit a forkball while kneeling down and made a 3-pointer over the middle fence became a hot topic enough that MLB.com put it on the main page for two days.
The 5th WBC begins on the 8th at 1:00 PM with the Group A match between Cuba and the Netherlands. The day when Ohtani will appear on the WBC stage is coming soon. Japan will play its first Group B match against China at 7:00 pm on the 9th. This is a game where Ohtani could start.
In the midst of this, ESPN announced on the 8th that it selected and announced the 50 best stars who will shine this WBC. Ohtani came in first place. ESPN calculated the WAR score by adding and adjusting WAR of last year from Baseball Reference and Fan Graphs, and this year’s WAR from prediction programs ZiPS and Steamer. International players made a subjective evaluation,’ he said, ‘who is number one? It was an easy call,’ he explained.
Ohtani’s WAR score was 8.6, ranking first. Last year’s WAR was 9.6 for baseball reference (batter 3.4 + pitcher 6.2), fan graphs was 9.4 (3.8 + 5.6), and expected WAR for this year was 7.5 (3.5 + 4.0) for ZiPS and 7.4 (3.1 + 4.3) for steamer. 원벳원 토토
Reporter David Schoenfield, who wrote the article, said, ‘This tournament is Ohtani’s first WBC appearance. He missed the 2017 WBC due to an ankle injury. I don’t know how the Japanese national team will use him, but Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minassian emphasized that there are no restrictions on how to use him. He himself said that he could take the mound in October last year as a midfielder or finisher. Japan has a deep starting lineup. Ohtani had previously pitched in an exhibition game,” he said.
Following Ohtani, Nolan Arenado, Mike Trout, and Mookie Betts of the United States took second, third, and fourth places, while Manny Machado of the Dominican Republic and Paul Goldschmidt of the United States tied for fifth place. Ohtani was ranked first, but the United States had the most with five among the top 10.
As for Japanese players, Murakami Munetaka ranked 25th, Yamamoto Yoshinobu 28th, Yoshida Masataka 32nd, Darvish Yu 34th, and Sasaki Loki 36th. rated above.