Retired Lee Dae-ho’s former colleague and Japanese national team outfielder Yuki Yanagita (35, Softbank Hawks) will not participate in the WBC (World Baseball Classic) next March.
Japanese media ‘Sankei Sports’ reported on the 7th that “Softbank outfielder Yanagita Yuki has reportedly refused to participate in the WBC, which will be held in March next year.”
According to Softbank officials, Yanagita has already informed Japan national team coach Hideki Kuriyama of his intention not to attend in order to focus on the 2023 season. Yanagita contributed to Japan’s gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but did not participate in the Japanese team’s WBC preparation match in November last year.
Born in 1988, Yanagita is a one-club man who debuted in Nippon Professional Baseball in 2011 and played only for Softbank for 12 seasons until last year. In 117 games last year, he recorded 24 homers, 79 RBIs, and 63 points, and in 12 seasons, batting champion twice (2015, 2018), most hits (2020), and 1255 games batting average 301.5 Lee 238 home runs, 770 RBIs, 804 RBIs, and an OPS of .960.
Yanagita is well known to domestic fans as a former colleague of Lee Dae-ho. In the 2014-2015 season, he ate rice with Lee Dae-ho, and following his relationship, he appeared in the congratulatory video of Dae-ho Lee’s retirement ceremony held at Sajik Stadium in Busan on October 8 last year, cheering for his old colleague’s second career. 메이저놀이터
Yanagita is also famous as a role model for Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom), who has risen to the top in Korea. Lee Jung-hoo picked Yanagita as the Japanese hitter he most wanted to meet in the past Olympics and said, “I have seen him since high school, and it will be amazing to see him in person. He drew attention by saying, “If you carefully look at the preparation process for the game and the batting, there are parts to be gained.”
Sankei Sports said, “Yanagita regrets allowing the Orix Buffaloes a come-from-behind victory in the final game last season. Therefore, we are continuing to adjust for the upcoming spring camp on February 1,” said Yanagita’s reasons for not participating in the WBC.