NPB stars to represent No. 1 Japan in WBSC Premier12

NPB stars to represent No. 1 Japan in WBSC Premier12
22/10/2015

TOKYO – Top-ranked Japan recently revealed a roster of 28 stars from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) to represent the country and defend its world No. 1 ranking at the inaugural WBSC Premier12.

Japan National Baseball Team - Piitchers

 

TOKYO – Top-ranked Japan recently revealed a roster of 28 stars from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) to represent the country and defend its world No. 1 ranking at the inaugural WBSC Premier12.

The newest flagship international baseball event features the top-12 ranked nations in the world and is being staged in Japan and Taiwan from 8-21 November.

Headlining the National Team is pitcher Takahiro Norimoto, who combined with three other Samurai Japan pitchers to throw a no-hitter against Team MLB in the Japan Series last November.

Fan-favourites like Kenta Maeda, Shohei Otani, Sho Nakata, Tetsuto Yamada and Yuki Yanagita will also be wearing Japan across their chests in the WBSC Premier12.

According to Twitter, on the day that Samurai Japan unveiled its players, the Premier12 became one of the hottest trending topics on the social media platform in Japan.

Manager Hiroki Kokubo, who led the selection process, said, “These are the best 28 players we have in the world.”

Pitchers (13)
Shohei Ohtani (Nippon-Ham Fighters)
Shinatro Fujinami (Hanshin Tigers) — UPDATE: Substituted by Yasuhiro Ogawa (Tokyo Yakult)
Kenta Maeda (Hiroshima Toyo)
Kazuhisa Makita (Saitama Seibu)
Hirotoshi Masui (Hokkaido Nippon-Ham),
Yuki Matsui (Tohoku Rakuten)
Yuki Nishi (ORIX Buffaloes)
Takahiro Norimoto (Tohoku Rakuten)
Yudai Ono (Chunichi)
Hirokazu Sawamura (Yomiuri)
Tomoyuki Sugano (Yomiuri)
Shota Takeda (Fukoka SoftBank)
Yasuaki Yamasaki (Yokohama DeNA)

Pitchers Fujinami and Ohtani (in 2012) and Matsui (in 2013) represented Japan at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.

Catchers (3)

Motohiro Shima (Tohoku Rakuten)
Ginjiro Sumitani (Saitama Seibu)
Yuhei Nakamura (Tokyo Yakult)

Infielders (7)

Takeya Nakamura (Saitama Seibu)
Shingo Kawabata (Tokyo Yakult)
Nobuhiro Matsuda (Fukuoka SoftBank)
Takuya Nakashima (Hokkaido Nippon-Ham)
Sho Nakata (Hokkaido Nippon-Ham)
Hayato Sakamoto (Yoimuri Giants)
Tetsuto Yamada (Tokyo Yakult)

Outfielders (5)

Shogo Akiyama (Saitama Seibu)
Ryosuke Hirata (Chunichi)
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (Yokohama DeNA)
Seiichi Uchikawa (Fukuoka SoftBank)
Yuki Yanagita (Fukuoka SoftBank)

Japan’s Premier12 National Team, placed in Group B, will report to training under Kokubo on 2 November and will warm up with exhibition games against world No. 10 Puerto Rico (Group A) on 5-6 November at the Yahoo Dome in Fukuoka.

Japan will officially open their WBSC Premier12 on 8 November at the 40,000-seat Sapporo Dome against rival and world No. 8 South Korea.