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2023 World Baseball Classic: Japan team roster | Ohtani, Darvish, Kondo, Murakami

Here’s how Team Japan’s roster will look for the 2023 World Baseball Classic final matchup against Team USA.

Here’s how Team Japan’s roster will look for the 2023 World Baseball Classic final matchup against Team USA.

There are no two ways about it. Team Japan are unbelievable. While they will make headlines for Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish, and their MLB outfield, every player on this team is a bonafide Nippon League powerhouse. American audiences may not be familiar with many of the names, but memorize them now, because you will be seeing a lot of them in the Show within a few short years. The only one on Team Japan who hasn’t played any professional ball in Japan’s NPB, and in fact is the first ever player to make the squad based solely on ancestry, is Lars Nootbaar who is eligible through his Japanese mother. Here’s how we think Japan will take the field when they face Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic final.

Team Japan 2023 World Baseball Classic roster

  • Manager: Hideki Kuriyama
  • Bench Coach: Kazuyuki Shirai
  • Hitting Coach: Sadaaki Yoshimura
  • Infield Coach: Noriyuki Shiroishi
  • Pitching Coach: Masato Yoshii
  • First Base Coach: Masaji Shimzu
  • Bullpen Coach: Kazuyuki Atsuzawa
  • Catching Coach: Yoshinori Murata


  • Sosuke Genda
  • Shugo Maki
  • Munetaka Murakami
  • Takumu Nakano
  • Kazuma Okamoto
  • Ukyo Shuto
  • Tetsuto Yamada
  • Hotaka Yamakawa


  • Kensuke Kondo
  • Lars Nootbaar (Cardinals)
  • Masataka Yoshida (Red Sox)


  • Takuya Kai
  • Yuhei Nakamura
  • Takumi Oshiro
  • Pitchers
  • Yu Darvish (Padres) R/R
  • Shota Imanaga L/L
  • Hiromi Itoh L/R
  • Ryoji Kuribayashi R/R
  • Yuki Matsui L/L
  • Hiroya Miyagi L/L
  • Taisei Ota R/R
  • Roki Sasaki R/R
  • Hiroto Takahashi R/R
  • Keiji Takahashi L/L
  • Shosei Togo R/R
  • Yuki Udagawa R/R
  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto R/R
  • Atsuki Yuasa R/R

Two Way Players

  • Shohei Ohtani (Angels) L/R

Team Japan’s roster is as good as it gets and then some

For American audiences, the player to keep your eyes on is Munetaka Murakami, who is the reigning NPB MVP, and whose thundering bat will almost certainly see the 23-year-old on our shores very soon, but that’s not to say he’s the only one. Truth be told, every position in this team is manned by a true superstar. It contains Gold Glove winners and All-Stars, often in depth on the roster, with all of their catchers being some of the best to ever play the position.

The infield has powerful bats all around, with Okamoto hitting over 30 home runs in each of the last five seasons, Yamakawa hitting over 40 for three seasons, and of course Murakami who became the first Japanese-born player to break Sadaharu Oh’s single-season mark by hitting 56 home runs last year. Where Shohei Ohtani is concerned, the two-way sensation needs no introduction. From soup to nuts, Team Japan is a hot item. While nothing is a given in baseball, and it’s going to be a brutal battle for the title, you have to imagine that the Japanese have what it takes to stop the Americans from going back-to-back in the WBC.

Video: World Baseball Classic final - everything you need to know:


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