– Kim Seong-yoon and Kim Young-gyu join just before the tournament
– Expectations are high on young bloods Moon Dong-ju
and Noh Si-hwan – Must overcome archenemies Japan and Taiwan.
Expectations are high on whether Korean baseball will overcome the disaster at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) and succeed in winning its fourth straight game at the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG). With the competition just around the corner, the national team made a change by replacing Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom) and Koo Chang-mo (NC), who were unable to participate in the game due to injury, with Kim Seong-yoon (Samsung) and Kim Young-gyu (NC), respectively.
The goal of the Korean baseball team, led by coach Ryu Joong-il, is to win the tournament for the fourth time in a row. Korea has shown such strength that it has won the championship five times since Hiroshima AG in 1994, when baseball was adopted as an official sport. In particular, they achieved their third consecutive victory since the 2006 Doha Games in Qatar, which was left behind by the ‘Doha disaster’.
However, it is too early to be confident that she will win a gold medal in this competition as well. This is because Korea was eliminated early in the first round of the WBC Baseball World Cup held earlier this year, suffering the hardship of being eliminated in the first round for the third time in a row. For this reason, Korea was faced with the heavy task of winning a gold medal at Hangzhou AG and trying to turn the situation around.
Korean baseball is expected to achieve a generational change through Hangzhou AG. Korea was embroiled in criticism for using AG as a ‘military service exemption window’ during the national team selection process at the previous Jakarta-Palembang competition. Accordingly, starting from this competition, a regulation was set to restrict it to players under 25 years of age and four years into their professional debut. Regardless of these criteria, three ‘wild cards’ can be selected, but this is also limited to those under the age of 29.
In a national team comprised only of young players, the players to watch out for are Noh Si-hwan and Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha). Noh Si-hwan, an infielder in his fourth year as a professional, has good pace to the point where he ranks first in this category with 30 home runs and 96 RBIs in the KBO League this season. Second-year pitcher Moon Dong-ju also recorded good results with 8 wins, 8 losses, and an ERA of 3.72 in 23 games, so he is expected to perform well in this AG as well. In addition, Park Young-hyun (KT), who has grown into the best bullpen pitcher in the league, Kim Dong-heon (Kiwoom), a high school graduate rookie catcher, and Jang Hyun-seok (Masan Yong Mago), the only amateur player who has been confirmed to join the LA Dodgers in the major league, are players to keep an eye on.메이저사이트
The national team also went through the confusion of replacing players right before the competition. On the 21st, two days before the national team’s first training, the KBO Strengthening Committee and others announced two players to replace outfielder Lee Jeong-hoo and pitcher Koo Chang-mo, who were forced to leave due to injury. As a result, Kim Seong-yoon and Kim Young-gyu were included in the final 24 entries. Despite his disadvantageous physical condition of being 163cm tall, Kim Seong-yoon hit hard with a season batting average of 0.314 and 27 RBIs. Left-handed reliever Kim Young-gyu is also setting career highs with 21 holds this season and an ERA of 3.34. The national team, including them, will begin its first training at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 23rd and then play a practice game on the 26th. After completing five days of joint training in Korea, they will leave for Hangzhou, China on the 28th.
In order for Korean baseball to achieve the milestone of winning four consecutive tournaments, it must overcome its archenemies Japan and Taiwan. Japan’s national team consists entirely of players who play professional baseball, but considering the recent level of Japanese baseball, they are by no means an easy opponent. Taiwan has built its strongest lineup ever, including 7 minor leaguers. Korea, which is in Group B with Taiwan and Hong Kong, will play the first group match against Hong Kong at 7:30 p.m. on the 1st of next month.