“It feels like controlling the {World Baseball Classic (WBC) official ball} properly.”

Right-handed pitcher Roki Sasaki (22, Chiba Lotte Marines), who is called the all-time rookie of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), is receiving a lot of attention as he recorded a maximum speed of 156 km from his first bullpen pitch this year.

Japanese local media ‘Sankei Sports’ wrote about Sasaki on the 3rd. Sasaki made his first bullpen pitch of the year on Ishigaki Island on the 2nd. He immediately used an unfamiliar match ball in preparation for the WBC, which was approaching next month, but showed an explosive impact as if he had adapted to some extent. He threw a total of 49 pitches, including 29 fastballs, 11 sliders and 20 breaking balls, including 9 forkballs. His highest speed was 156 km.

After pitching in the bullpen, Sasaki said, “Because there is the WBC in March, I am conscious of finishing quickly (about improving my physical condition). It feels like I am properly controlling (the WBC official ball).”

Sasaki is called Japan’s greatest talent ever. He was the youngest (20 years and 5 months) in NPB history to complete a perfect game. It is not just a record. Although his age is small, his skills are not pushed even when competing with top players.

In the first year of the first team (2021), Sasaki drew attention by recording an average ERA of 2.27 with 63⅓ innings, 3 wins, 2 losses, and 68 strikeouts, and the following year (2022), he improved further, recording 9 wins, 4 losses, 129⅓ innings, and an average ERA of 2.02 with 173 strikeouts. After a while, he succeeded in winning the national team.

As time goes by, his talent shines brighter and he is showing a steep growth trend. In November of last year, Sasaki struggled to adapt to the WBC official ball in the national team evaluation match and could hardly score zero points. The WBC official ball is the same as the Major League ball, but it takes time to get used to as it is more slippery than the NPB official ball.

After that, Sasaki did not let go of the official ball from his hand. And he entered the finishing phase of adaptation in three months. He explained himself, “I’m more used to (feeling) than last November. The breaking ball is a passing point. I’m throwing it with a good feeling.” 카지노사이트

In addition to Sasaki, the Japanese national team plans to build a high-quality starting lineup with Japan’s leading major leaguers Yu Darvish (37, San Diego Padres), Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels), and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25, Orix Buffaloes). If Sasaki raises his senses as much as expected, Japan is expected to gain more momentum.

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