‘Japan’s Otani fever’ Selected as the ‘Best Star’ MVP in the group of 5 countries belonging to Korea
‘Ohtani, Ohtani again.’ Japanese 메이저놀이터 fans are showing explosive interest in national team member Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels). He won the MVP award in Group B, which includes Korea, Japan, China, Czech Republic and Australia.
The WBC (World Baseball Classic) organizing committee announced on the 15th that Ohtani was selected as the Group B MVP for the first round of the tournament held in Tokyo, Japan.
It was Ohtani’s first WBC appearance. Like his major league counterparts, he played both pitcher and hitter, performing at his best throughout the tournament.
In the first game against China, he got on the mound and showed perfect pitching with 4 innings, 1 hit, 5 strikeouts and no run. His highest speed with his fastball reached 161km. He also batted, going 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs, 2 walks and 1 run.
In the following 3 games, he continued to play as a hitter. In 4 games in this tournament, he recorded 6 hits in 12 at-bats (0.500 batting average), 1 home run, 8 RBIs, 5 runs, 7 walks and 1 stolen base. His OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) was 1.684.
He also performed well in the match against Korea, leaving a deep impression on Korean fans. He started as the designated hitter three times and went 2-for-3 with 1 RBI, 2 runs scored and 1 strikeout while picking up 2 walks.
Ohtani craze is amazing even in Japan. Most of the local sports newspapers are making headlines by putting Ohtani’s name and photo on the front page. The attention of many Japanese reporters is focused on Otani. Even Korean reporters who meet at the scene ask a lot about Ohtani.
With Ohtani’s big success, the Japanese national team won 4 consecutive victories and easily advanced to the quarterfinals with first place in the group. Now, Japan will play in the quarterfinals against Italy, who took first place in Group A, at the Tokyo Dome at 7:00 pm on the 16th.
Ohtani’s starting sortie is likely. However, it seems that Ohtani’s starting appearance in this tournament will be the last in the quarterfinals.
Previously, Ohtani’s team, Los Angeles Angels coach Phil Nevin, said, “Ohtani will start in the WBC quarterfinals,” and “there is no possibility of a mound after the semifinals.”
Currently, it is expected that Ohtani will play a crucial role in starting the major league opening game. You must prepare accordingly. Therefore, if Japan advances to the semifinals, Ohtani is expected to concentrate on batting.