Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels), the center of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Japan team, did not hide his expectations, saying, 스포츠토토 “I am well aware of the long history of the Korea-Japan match.”
Today (17th), Ohtani attended the US Major League (MLB) Angels spring camp press conference held at Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, USA, and expressed his feelings ahead of the WBC Korea-Japan match.
He said, “I’ve seen a lot of matches between Korea and Japan,” and “Korea is a good team and I think we’ll have a good match.”
“I know that big leaguers (Kim Ha-seong, Tommy Hyeon-soo, Edman, etc.) will join the Korean national team. I got good results in the last game, but I don’t know what will happen (this time),” he said cautiously.
Both hitter and pitcher, Ohtani is a superstar who rewrote MLB history.
He decided to join the WBC Japan national team early on, and is expected to play as Japan’s pitching core from the first round of the finals.
In fact, the possibility of participating as a pitcher and batter in the match against Korea, which is the first round of the final round, cannot be ruled out.
It is not the first time that the Korean national baseball team is facing ‘pitcher’ Ohtani.
In the 2015 Premier12 semifinals, Ohtani, who started the Japanese national team, contributed 11 strikeouts in 7 innings and was silent with one hit and no score.
In the official opening game of the tournament, the national team also gave up 2 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings against Ohtani and struck out 10.
At the age of 21, Ohtani, who showed a terrifying aspect, developed into a more terrifying player after advancing to the MLB.
In the 2022 MLB season, he went 15-9 with a 2.33 earned run average as a pitcher and a batting average of 0.273 as a hitter, with 34 home runs and 95 RBIs.
Regarding his current physical condition, Ohtani said, “It’s much better than last year. The WBC is a tournament I’ve seen since elementary school, and it’s a stage I’ve always wanted to participate in.”
On the 16th, the first day of spring camp, Ohtani improved his condition by throwing 37 balls from the bullpen, and devoted this day to conditioning training with his fellow players.
Ohtani trains at his team’s spring camp and will join the Japanese national team ahead of the tournament’s opening.
On the 10th of next month, Korea will have an irresistible confrontation with Japan with Ohtani at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.