‘Okinawa’s first WBC appearance’ Japan’s home run king “Nothing to be afraid of, we are the strongest”

Seibu Lions Yamakawa Hotaka (32) expressed his determination to participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC).

On the 23rd, Japanese media Sports Hochi said, “Yamakawa, who will be the Japanese national team for the WBC to be held in March, has revealed his personal training in Okinawa, Japan. He will compete in the WBC finals for the first time alongside Takumi Oshiro (Yomiuri) and Hiroya Miyagi (Orix).”

Yamakawa is a home run hitter with a batting average of .256 (666 hits in 2605 at-bats), 218 homers, 570 RBIs, and an OPS of .917 in 769 Japanese professional baseball games. He surpassed 40 home runs three times in 2018 (47 home runs), 2019 (43 home runs), and 2022 (41 home runs) and won the home run king. In the 2017 Asian Professional Baseball Championship, he played as a national team and hit a two-run home run against Chang-mo Koo (NC).

Yamakawa, who struggled somewhat with 24 homers in a row in 2020 and 2021, succeeded in rebounding last year with a batting average of .266 (119 hits in 448), 41 homers, 90 RBIs, and an OPS of .953 in 129 games.

Born in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, Yamakawa is the first Okinawan player to compete in the WBC finals. Yamakawa said, “I started playing baseball at the age of 10 and barely made it to this stage. As for the Okinawan player, in the past, there was a time when he was told that he would not be able to play an active part. That is why he is playing baseball with the mindset that he will never lose even when he goes to Tokyo or goes out to the world.”

Japan, which is aiming to win the WBC for the first time in 14 years since 2009, has a large number of major league players such as Shohei Otani (Angels), Yu Darvish (San Diego), Seiya Suzuki (Cubs), Masataka Yoshida (Boston), and Lars Nuthba (St. Louis). participated in In addition, Yamakawa, Munetaka Murakami (Yakult), Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), and other Japanese professional baseball stars will participate. 먹튀검증

Sports Hochi said, “Yamakawa wants to stand at bat in the WBC, and expressed his determination to do his best whether he is defending or running. However, the role that the national team wants most is a home run at an important moment. Yamakawa, who won the home run and RBI titles, has been refining his batting with unique training since last season. It is a training to swing while inflating a balloon in the mouth of a bat with the tip cut out. “When you inflate a balloon, you use your abdominal muscles, and when you hit, your lower body is firmly fixed and you get closer to how you hit,” he said, introducing Yamakawa’s training method.

Yamakawa, who is working on the WBC with extraordinary determination, said, “I am doing it with the mindset that I will never lose even if I go out on the world stage. There is nothing to be afraid of. You can think of us as the strongest. Now I just have to win the championship,” he said, expressing his confidence.