Outfielder Masago Yusuke (29), who was released from the Japanese professional baseball Softbank Hawks at the end of last season, will participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) as a member of the Chinese national baseball team.
Japanese media, including the ‘Mainichi Shimbun’, announced on the 8th that Masago had been selected as the WBC representative of China. Born in Kyoto and raised in Japan, Masago has Japanese nationality, but this time he wore the Chinese national team uniform according to the WBC rules, which allow him to compete according to his parent’s nationality. Masago was born to a Chinese father and a Japanese mother.
Another media ‘Sports Hochi’ said, ‘It is a creepy existence in Samurai Japan. China is Japan’s first opponent on March 9. In the 2017 tournament, it is a team that is one level below their skills, such as winning 7-1, but the first game has to fight with tension.” With the addition of Masago, who played for Softbank for 10 years, there is a risk that information on Japanese players will be exposed.”
Right-handed outfielder Masago made his first-team debut in 2017 after being nominated by Softbank with the fourth pick in the 2012 draft. At the time of his joining, he raised expectations with right-handed Yana Kita Yuki, but until last year, he only recorded a batting average of 2.19 ri (46 hits in 210 at bats), 3 home runs and 16 RBIs in 180 games in his 6 seasons. 스포츠토토
He played 79 games, the most in 2021, but was released after a sluggish 29 game batting average (2 hits in 28 at-bats) last year. Afterwards, he participated in a joint tryout with 12 NPB clubs, but was not called up by any team, and from this year he decided to continue his career as a player at Hitachi, a strong team in social baseball.
They desperately need a chance to appeal to themselves, and the WBC can be a good stage to show their presence. Masago said, “It is an opportunity that does not come easily to participate in the world’s best competition. I want to experience a lot,” he said. Even through his SNS, Masago said, “I was elected to the WBC Chinese team. There may be many opinions, but I will work hard like myself.”
With this, China succeeded in strengthening its power by recruiting Korean and Japanese players from Tuta. Korean pitcher Ju Kwon (KT), whose father is Chinese, will also go to the WBC as a Chinese national team for two consecutive tournaments following 2017. This time, he even joined Masago and set up players with rich professional experience in pitching as pillars.
China belongs to Group B along with Korea, Japan, Australia and the Czech Republic, and will play the first round at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. China faces Japan in its first match on March 9, then the Czech Republic on the 10th, Australia on the 11th, and Korea on the 13th.
Masago is the No. 1 player to be wary of because he has the experience of making Korea cry. Masago, who participated in the U-23 Baseball World Cup held in Mexico in 2016 as a member of the Japanese national team, played an active role in 9 games with a batting average of 3.87 (12 hits in 31 at-bats), 4 homers and 14 RBIs. He was first in the conference in home runs and first in slugging percentage (. 935). In particular, in the first game of the Super Round against Korea, he hit a solo home run to Ji-seop Lim in the 7th inning, which was trailing 0-1. At that time, Japan won the match 2-1 after 10 overtime matches. Masago, who led Japan to victory as the fourth hitter, was also selected as the tournament MVP and best nine.