‘Big Leaguer’ Las Nutba (26, St. Louis) joins the Japanese baseball team, which dreams of recapturing the top of the WBC (World Baseball Classic).
Japanese media Sankei Sports said on the 4th, “It has been finalized that Nutba will join the Japanese baseball team. Both Nutba and St. Louis club accepted the request to join the Japanese national team.”
This is the first time that a Japanese mixed-race major leaguer has participated in the Japanese baseball team at the WBC, which was launched in 2006. The WBC, administered by the MLB Secretariat, does not strictly limit the nationality of players. Depending on the nationality of one of the grandparents as well as parents, they can participate as a representative of their country.
After 14 years since 2009, the Japanese national baseball team, aiming for the WBC top spot, is building its strongest power by adding Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres), and Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs) to Knobba.
Nutba made his big league debut in 2021 after being drafted by St. Louis with the 243rd overall pick in the eighth round of the 2018 draft. Nutba, who recorded a batting average of 0.239 with 5 homers and 15 RBIs in 58 games in the first season, recorded a batting average of 0.228, 14 homers, 40 RBIs and an OPS of 0.788 in 108 games last season.
His sophistication is somewhat lacking, but he has a strong power that can be used in the big leagues. Japanese media are highly evaluating Nutba’s power, saying, “If you calculate full-time, he is a hitter who can hit 30 homers.” “The average hitting speed was 91.7 miles per hour (about 147.5 km), which was higher than Mike Trout (91.6 miles per hour).”
With Nutba’s joining, the Japanese baseball team has a big leaguer luxurious outfield consisting of right fielder Suzuki and left fielder Yoshida Masataka 메이저놀이터
In addition to the big leaguers, players from the Japanese professional baseball league, who are highly likely to participate in the WBC, are also splendid. Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), who won the pitcher’s 4 crowns (wins, ERA, strikeouts, win rate) for two consecutive years, and fireballer Sasaki Rocky (Java Lotte), who throws a 160 km fastball, will also participate in the WBC.
Japan was placed in Group B with Korea, China, Australia, and the Czech Republic at the WBC. Sookmyung’s Korea-Japan match will be held at Tokyo Dome on March 10th at 7pm. The Korea-Japan match, which can be called the highlight of the WBC, is the first in 14 years since 2009.