Juan Soto represents MLB vs. Japanese All-Stars

Brian Tinsman
November 01, 2018 - 11:17 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


It's being billed as an "All-Star" event, but let's just agree that it's more of a "Some-Star" event.

Nationals outfielder Juan Soto is one of the more exciting names on an upcoming roster that will represent MLB vs. Japan's Nippon League. Starting next Thursday, MLB players will tour Japan for an eight-game goodwill tour, in games that will be aired on the MLB Network.

Nationals bullpen coach Henry Blanco will also be part of the MLB coaching staff, although it's likely he will wish he had some of his Nats hurlers at the ready. The MLB squad has very few big names on the pitching side of the roster:

  • Matt Andriese, Diamondbacks
  • Scott Barlow, Royals
  • John Brebbia, Cardinals
  • Junior Guerra, Brewers
  • Brian Johnson, Red Sox
  • Kenta Maeda, Dodgers
  • Chris Martin, Rangers
  • Collin McHugh, Astros
  • Daniel Norris, Tigers
  • Vidal Nuno, Rays
  • Dan Otero, Indians
  • Yusmeiro Petit, Athletics
  • Erasmo Ramirez, Mariners
  • Hector Velazquez, Red Sox
  • Kirby Yates, Padres

On the position side of the equation, Soto will be one of the younger players, following his breakout 2018 campaign. He'll be joined in the outfield by:

  • Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves
  • Mitch Haniger, Mariners
  • Enrique Hernandez, Dodgers
  • Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
  • Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays

On the infield, the MLB will bring five position players and three catchers:

  • Whit Merrifield, Royals
  • Amed Rosario, Mets
  • Carlos Santana, Phillies
  • Eugenio Suarez, Reds
  • Chris Taylor Dodgers
  • Robinson Chirinos, Rangers
  • Yadier Molina, Cardinals
  • J.T. Realmuto, Marlins

While these are exhibition games without any contrived stakes, it should still be fun to watch baseball in the offseason. The MLB vs. Nippon League series dates back to 1986 and provides fans with a chance to see MLB players play across teams, leagues and nationalities.

Unfortunately, the best Japanese player currently playing in MLB is slugger/ace Shohei Ohtani, who is currently recovering from Tommy John's surgery after his first MLB season.

It will be interesting to see if Soto can adjust to the Japanese game as quickly and emphatically as he did in his first MLB season.


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