The veil has been lifted on the teams from Japan and Chinese Taipei that will compete for gold with South Korea at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Japan has assembled a team of players who play rural unemployment baseball. Nine pitchers, three catchers, six infielders, and six outfielders filled out the 24-man roster.
Among the pitchers is Junichi Tazawa, a relief pitcher who played for the Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, and Los Angeles Angels in Major League Baseball and is now a member of Japan’s unemployed baseball team, the Eneos.
“They have a lot of pitchers who throw fastballs up to 150 kilometers per hour,” said an official with the South Korean national baseball team, who spent time in Japan in July looking for talent.
South Korea, with its lack of offense, is likely to laugh or cry depending on how well the Japanese pitchers can handle the fastball.
Japan has united all age groups of players it sends to international tournaments under the “Samurai Zoupan” brand, including its Asian Games representatives.
Taiwan has selected 17 professional players. Taiwanese media reported that this is the highest number of professional athletes in the last three Asian Games.
Taiwanese media noted that the team, which is attempting to win its first Asian Games title in 17 years since Doha 2006, has selected 17 professional athletes. 스포츠토토
The team includes 10 players from the local professional league, seven minor leaguers, and seven unemployed players.
According to the KBO, the league that runs and supports South Korea’s national baseball team, seven members of the “golden generation” of Taiwanese baseball, who won the 2019 Under-18 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Baseball World Cup in Gijang, Busan, with a 2-1 victory over the United States, have been selected for the Hangzhou Asian Games.
They are reportedly mostly minor leaguers.
Taiwanese media have been wary of South Korea, giving prominence to reports of Ryu Jung-il, the head coach of the South Korean national team, and Ryu Ji-hyun, who visited Taichung last week to analyze the strength of the Taiwanese players.
South Korea and Chinese Taipei are in Group B of the Hangzhou Asian Games and must defeat their opponents in the group stage to win. Japan in Group A will face Korea and Chinese Taipei in the Super Round.
Korea has named a team of 23 KBO players and one amateur, but due to a number of injuries, the team will announce a new roster in mid-September.