Red Sox’ Masataka Yoshida, Yu Chang named to All-World Baseball Classic team

Two members of the Red Sox were named to the 2023 All-World Baseball Classic team after the tournament came to a thrilling end in Miami on Tuesday night.

Shortly after Japan defeated the United States, 3-1, in dramatic fashion to cap off an undefeated run and take home its third WBC title, Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida and infielder Yu Chang were both recognized for what they did for their respective countries.

Yoshida, representing Samurai Japan, was among the tournament’s top offensive performers. The left-handed hitter batted a stout .409/.531/.727 with one double, two home runs, a WBC-record 13 RBIs, five runs scored, four walks, and just one strikeout in seven games spanning 32 trips to the plate.

Were it not for Shohei Ohtani’s heroic efforts in Tuesday’s championship game, Yoshida very well could have been named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Most notably, the 29-year-old came through with a clutch, game-tying three-run homer in the seventh inning of Monday’s 6-5 semifinal win over Mexico. He also threw out a runner at home plate the following half-inning.

Though he went hitless on Tuesday, it was still an encouraging two weeks for Yoshida, who the Red Sox signed to a five-year, $90 million deal back in December. The Fukui native is expected to bat cleanup for Boston this season and is an early favorite to be in consideration for American League Rookie of the Year.

Chang, meanwhile, made headlines earlier in the tournament thanks to his performance in pool play. Representing Chinese Taipei, the Taiwan native went 7-for-16 (.438) at the plate with two doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs, five runs scored, two walks, and two strikeouts in four games. One of those homers was a game-tying two-run shot against Italy and the other was a grand slam against the Netherlands.

Despite the fact that Chinese Taipei failed to advance to the quarterfinals, Chang was still named MVP of his pool (Pool A) for his efforts. The versatile 27-year-old is back with the Red Sox after signing a one-year, $850,000 contract with the club last month. He is expected to be part of Boston’s infield mix as a bench option while Trevor Story (right elbow surgery) and Adalberto Mondesi (left ACL rehab) are sidelined to start the season.

Yoshida rejoined the Red Sox in Fort Myers on Wednesday and will make his return to the lineup on Friday, per’s Ian Browne. Chang, on the other hand, has been delayed by visa issues and is slated to report to camp on Thursday.

(Picture of Masataka Yoshida: Eric Espada/Getty Images)


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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