Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani announces intention to represent Japan in World Baseball Classic

Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani announces intention to represent Japan in World Baseball Classic
18/11/2022
The Japanese phenom's last international appearance was the inaugural WBSC Premier12 and said he's looking forward to playing "in front of the Japanese fans for the first time in over 5 years!!"

Two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani will be available to represent Japan in the World Baseball Classic 2023 confirming that he has "officially informed" Samurai Japan's manager Kuriyama about his intention.

"I have officially informed Team Japan Manager Mr. Kuriyama that I would like to participate in next year’s WBC," Ohtani said via Instagram. "Looking forward for the opportunity to face the best players around the world and to be able to play in front of the Japanese fans for the first time in over 5 years!!"

Ohtani, a star of the WBSC Premier12 2015, just completed another stellar Major League Baseball (MLB) season and finished second in the American League MVP ballot behind Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and fourth in the Cy Young Award ballot.

He appeared in a 157 games for the Los Angeles Angels- He started 28 games as a right-handed pitcher, going 166 innings, striking out 219 and posting a 15-9 record and a 2.33 earned run average.

He also started 125 at DH. He totalled 586 at-bats as a left-handed hitter - a career-high - posting a .273 batting average (160-for-586) with 34 home runs and 95 RBIs.

Ohtani's latest international appearance was the inaugural WBSC Premier12. He started two games as a pitcher for third-place Samurai Japan, going 13 innings and striking out 21. He didn't allow a run.

Ohtani also represented Japan at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2012.

World No. 1 Japan will host Group A of the World Baseball Classic at the Tokyo Dome and face from 8 to 12 March 2023 No. 3 Korea, No. 10 Australia, No. 14 Czech Republic and No. 21 China.

Ticket sales will start on Wednesday, 23 November.

The Tokyo Dome will also host two quarterfinals on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 March.