TOKYO — Samurai Japan manager Atsunori Inaba revealed the 28-man roster he will take into battle against the world’s top 12 national teams at the 2019 WBSC Premier12 this November.
Inaba went exclusively with players from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), including several All-Stars, with the Tokyo Giants and Fukuoka Softbank Hawks leading the selection, both with five players named to Japan’s top team.
Japan’s roster announcement for the WBSC Premier12 went viral on Twitter, setting off thousands of retweets, likes and discussions among fans.
— 野球日本代表 侍ジャパン 公式 (@samuraijapan_pr) October 1, 2019
Japan will have returning players from the inaugural 2015 Premier12, such as Yomiuri Tokyo Giants shortstop Hayato Sakamoto, Tokyo Yakult Swallow second baseman Tetsuto Yamada, Hawks third baseman Nobuhiro Matsuda and Seibu Lions outfielder Shogo Akiyama.
“I want to do my best to win the championship that we couldn’t do four years ago,” said Akiyama.
World No. 1 Japan will start the global competition in Group B in Taiwan, along with No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 9 Venezuela and No. 11 Puerto Rico.
Japan will warm up in Okinawa with games on 31 October and 1 November against the 10th-ranked Canadian National Team, who will kick off their Premier12 in the Seoul Group C round.
Japan Men’s National Baseball Team Roster:
- Takayuki Kishi (Rakuten Eagles)
- Taisuke Yamaoka (Orix Buffaloes)
- Yuki Matsui (Rakuten Eagles)
- Shun Yamaguchi (Yomiuri Tokyo Giants)
- Yasuaki Yamazaki (Yokohama DeNA BayStars)
- Shota Imanaga (Yokohama DeNA BayStars)
- Yudai Ono (Chunichi Dragons)
- Kodai Senga (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks)
- Rei Takahashi (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks)
- Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes)
- Kohei Morihara (Rakuten Eagles)
- Yuta Nakagawa (Yomiuri Tokyo Giants)
- Kazuto Taguchi (Yomiuri Tokyo Giants)
- Seiji Kobayashi (Yomiuri Tokyo Giants)
- Tsubasa Aizawa (Hiroshima Toyo Carp)
- Takuya Kai (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks)
- Tetsuto Yamada (Tokyo Yakult Swallows)
- Sosuke Genda (Seibu Lions)
- Eitoto Asamura (Rakuten Eagles)
- Ryosuke Kikuchi (Hiroshima Toyo Carp)
- Shuta Tonosaki (Seibu Lions)
- Hayato Sakamoto (Yomiuri Tokyo Giants)
- Nobuhiro Matsuda (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks)
- Kensuke Kondo (Nippon-Ham Fighters)
- Ukyo Shuto (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks)
- Masataka Yoshida (Orix Buffaloes)
- Seiya Suzuki (Hiroshima Toyo Carp)
- Shogo Akiyama (Seibu Lions)