Best player since Piazza Ohtani Babe Ruth
Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), who emerged as the best star in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), was selected as the MVP of Group B in the first round.
The WBC Secretariat announced on the 15th that Japan has selected Ohtani, who played his best in winning all four rounds of the first round, as the round MVP. Otani had a batting average of 0.500 (6 hits in 12 at-bats), eight RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.684 in four games. Of the six hits, three doubles and one home run.
In particular, the three-run home run against Australia on the 12th was impressive. The distance is about 137 meters. The home run ball flew toward the advertising screen with Ohtani’s face.
Pitcher Ohtani was also impressive. He started the opening game against China on the 9th and recorded one hit, five strikeouts, and no runs in four innings. He was replaced before reaching the limit on the number of pitches, but he beat China with an overwhelming pitch.
Meanwhile, Ohtani’s Angels manager Phil Nevin said, “Otani’s appearance in the quarterfinals is the last time.” Otani said at a press conference held on the 15th, “Nothing has been decided,” but he is expected to play only as a designated hitter from the semifinals after starting the quarterfinals against Italy on the 16th. Japan’s Roki Sasaki (Nihon Ham Fighters) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes) are expected to start in the semifinals and finals.
Japanese coach Hideki Kuriyama announced Otani as the starting pitcher for the quarterfinals. The limit on the number of pitches will be increased from 65 to 80. Ohtani said, “It’s important to play with the same mind as usual. Not only me, but also Darvish Yu and Imanaga Shota can throw. He said, “We can win at least one more point than the other team.”
The Italian coach who faces Japan is Mike Piazza, who used to be in the same league with Park Chan-ho for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is a former slugger who hit 2,127 hits and 427 home runs. Although he is an American national, he also played in the WBC once as an Italian. When he was a Dodgers catcher, he worked with Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo 토토카지노
Piazza said, “I think Otani is the best player since Babe Ruth. “There were pitchers who hit well, but no player has set such a good record,” he said.
Italy finished second in Group A, where all five teams recorded two wins and two losses. Many of the major leaguers joined the team and performed better than expected.