Yamada Tetsuto (Yakult), who scored the final against Korea in the 2019 Premier 12 finals and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics semi-finals, will wear the Japanese national team uniform again.
Japan’s Sponichi reported on the 11th, “Yakult’s Yamada has been nominated for the Japanese national team. A player who is strong in international competitions will welcome the second WBC (World Baseball Classic).”
The media said, “(Yamada) was strong in international competitions, such as hitting home runs in the WBC, Premier 12, and Olympics, where she participated in the past. The WBC is the second appearance after 2017.”
On the 6th, Japan first announced the 12 players who were confirmed to join the final roster, including Shohei Otani (Angels) and Yu Darvish 바카라. Yamada was not included here, but was named in the final 30-man roster to be officially announced later this month. In an interview after personal training on the 10th, he briefly expressed his determination, saying, “I don’t know what will happen, but if I get selected, I will work hard.”
Yamada was the player who dealt a fatal blow to Korea in the last match against Japan. Korea lost 0-2 to Japan in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics, but tied the score 2-2 with a timely hit by Kang Baek-ho and Kim Hyun-soo in the 6th inning. However, in the 8th inning with two outs and bases loaded, Go Woo-seok gave Yamada a sweeping double, and the score widened by 3 points. The game ended 2-5 as it was. Yamada played an active part in this tournament with 7 hits in 20 at-bats (0.350 batting average), 1.035 OPS and 7 RBIs.
In the Premier 12 held earlier, he scored the final against Korea in the final. In the second inning, which Korea faced with a 3-1 lead, Yang Hyeon-jong hit a come-from-behind three-run home run. Korea took a 3-0 lead with home runs by Kim Ha-seong and Kim Hyun-soo in the top of the first inning, and started the final happily, but after allowing a turnaround in the second inning, Korea lost 3-5 with no score.
Last year, he maintained a batting average of 0.243 in 130 regular season games, while maintaining his slugging power with 23 homers. Japan is in the mood to pin its hopes on Yamada’s strengths in international competitions.
Meanwhile, in addition to the 12 confirmed players, Yamada, catcher Yuhei Nakamura (Yakult), and pitcher Atsuki Yuasa (Hanshin) are known to have been tentatively selected for the Japanese national team.