Masataka Yoshida, who entered the Boston Red Sox through a large five-year, $90 million (approximately 114.1 billion won) contract, has finally been confirmed to join the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team.
Japan’s ‘Nikkan Sports’ said on the 5th (Korean time), “Samurai Japan coach Hideki Kuriyama (name of the Japanese national team) has made it clear that Masataka Yoshida of the Boston Red Sox will join the WBC national team.”
Yoshida started his professional life after being nominated by the Orix Buffaloes in the first round of the 2015 rookie draft. He played in 762 games over 7 seasons in Japan, 884 hits, 133 homers, 467 RBIs, 418 runs, and a batting average of 0.327 OPS of 0.960. .
Yoshida played 119 games this year as well, with 138 hits, 21 homers, 88 RBIs, and a batting average of 0.335 OPS of 0.922, helping 안전놀이터 Orix win their second consecutive Pacific League title and Japan Series championship in 26 years. And through the posting system, he signed a five-year, $90 million contract with Boston and entered the major leagues.
Initially, it was predicted that Yoshida would be absent from the national team in preparation for his first season in the major leagues. Coach Kuriyama also said that “Yoshida’s dream is important” and that new players entering the major leagues do not have to join. However, Yoshida strongly hoped to join the WBC national team, and Boston also allowed Yoshida to participate.
According to Nikkan Sports, coach Kuriyama explained, “To Yoshida’s fans, it’s a tough challenge, including the thought that it might cause trouble, but after discussing with Yoshida, I decided to participate.”
Yoshida is expected to be available from the first match of the first round, which begins on March 9 at the Tokyo Dome. “I asked him to join the national team as soon as possible. Yoshida will participate from the first round on March 9, as well as the United States,” added Kuriyama.
Meanwhile, Yoshida participated as the Japanese national team at the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, each winning gold medals.