Thursday, October 25, 2018

Samurai Japan U23 Team

The U-23 Baseball World Cup has been going on for about a week down in Colombia.  Japan went 5-0 in the Opening Round to win their Group (Group A) and beat Korea this morning in the first game of the Super Round.  This version of Samurai Japan is being managed by Atsunori Inaba who is the manager for the "main" version of the team as well. 

Obviously all 24 players on the team's roster are age 23 and under (given that it's a "U-23" tournament).  19 of the players came from NPB rosters - the remaining five are all industrial league players - Kento Harasawa (Subaru), Ryota Kita (Sega Sammy), Yoshua Miyazawa (Nippon Steel Sumikin Kazusa Magic), Masaki Mizuno (Yamaha) and Yuki Nakayama (Tokyo Gas).  (And I don't think any of them were drafted today.)  There are four players from the Eagles, three each from the Marines and Baystars, two each from the Carp and Buffaloes and one from each of the Hawks, Tigers, Fighters, Swallows and Giants.  There are no players from the Dragons or Lions.  There are three former first round draft picks (Hiroki Kondoh, Eagles 2017; Naruki Terashima, Swallows 2016; and Hisanori Yasuda, Marines 2017) and (oddly enough) two ikusei players - Ukyo Shuto of the Hawks and Ryutaro Takakyama of the Giants.  Here's a card for each of the NPB players on the roster:

2016 BBM Carp #C17

2017 BBM Eagles #E41


2018 Epoch NPB #102

2017 Epoch Baystars #20

2017 BBM Carp #C31

2016 BBM Rookie Edition Premium #RP09

2018 BBM 1st Version #080

2018 BBM Rookie Edition #075

2018 Epoch NPB #320

2018 BBM 1st Version #214

2018 BBM Rookie Edition #007

2017 BBM Buffaloes #Bs36

2017 BBM Rookie Edition #080

2017 BBM Marines #M33

2017 Epoch Swallows #04

2016 BBM Eagles #E50

2017 BBM 1st Version #159

2018 BBM Icons-Fanfare #17
Samurai Japan has two more games scheduled in the tournament - tomorrow (10/26) at 1500 local time (4 PM EDT) against Venezuela and Saturday (10/27) at 1000 local time (11 AM EDT) against the Dominican Republic.  If they make the championship game (and I expect that they will) they will play on Sunday at 1900 local time (8 PM EDT).

The tournament has kind of an odd collection of nations represented.  Some of the staples of international baseball - the United States, Cuba and Canada for example - do not have teams in the tournament.  In addition to Japan, Asia is represented by Korea and Taiwan.  I don't know anything about the players on Korea's roster but CPBL Stats had a post last week about Taiwan's roster - it's mostly made up of college players supplemented by a couple industrial league players and three professionals from the Chinatrust Brothers. 

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