Class of the Classic (Non-MLB Division)

6 of 14

The Power Pitcher

Photograph By AP Photo/Toru Takahashi

Masahiro Tanaka

Team: Japan
Position: RHP
Bats: Right. Throws: Right

Another established, but still young (he's just 24), veteran of international play, Tanaka made three appearances in relief for Japan in the 2008 Summer Olympics and pitched a total of seven shutout innings. That includes five innings of two-hit ball against Team USA in the Americans' 11-inning, 4-2 win. At the 2009 WBC, he pitched in relief in four games during Japan's gold medal run. In 2011, he went 19-5 with 241 strikeouts and a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Pacific League. Worth noting: Eight years ago, in 2005, Tanaka broke the Japanese high school record for strikeouts held previously by Daisuke Matsuzaka.