Looking at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team list announced by the Technical Committee of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) on the 4th, there is a distinct characteristic.
Pitchers have undergone a generational shift to some extent, while fielders are still veterans. The average age of 15 pitchers is 26 years and 8 months as of March when the tournament is held, but the average age of 15 fielders is 31 years and 9 months, a gap of more than 5 years. The average age of a fielder is the oldest ever.
11 pitchers are in their 20s, while only 5 fielders are in their 20s. It is evident that the Korean baseball batting line still relies on veterans in their 30s. The oldest player in the national team is catcher Lee Ji-young (Kiwoom), who was born in February 1986 and is 37 years old. The youngest is Lee Eui-ri (KIA), born in June 2002.
The national team has to rely on Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA) and Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG) in their mid-30s for a large part of the mound, but Lee Kang-cheol, the national team coach, is So-jun So (KT) Koo Chang-mo (NC) Won Tae-in (Samsung) Ko Woo-seok (LG) Jung Woo-young (LG). ) He said he would increase the utilization of young pitchers such as Park Se-woong (Lotte).
However, the other lineup is mostly veterans in their mid-30s. Park Byeong-ho (KT), Choi Jeong (SSG), Kim Hyeon-soo (LG), Na Seong-beom (KIA), and Park Kun-woo (NC), who are in their early to mid-30s, are expected to take on the central batting line. Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), Kim Ha-seong (San Diego), and Tommy Edman (St. Louis) are in charge of the infield and top batting line, and Yang Eui-ji, Oh Ji-hwan, Park Hae-min, and Kang Baek-ho support the structure.
If they show off their prime skills in the tournament, the Korean lineup has the potential to play both small and long balls.
Park Byeong-ho hit 35 home runs last year, winning the sixth home run title in his career. Choi Jeong-eun has hit a total of 429 home runs, including the home run king three times, and is ranked second all-time in this category. You can prepare for various situations, such as Lee Jung-hoo and Edmon’s quick feet, Kim Hyun-soo and Na Seong-beom’s clutch ability안전놀이터. In terms of defense, it is worth looking forward to the performance of shortstop Kim Ha-seong and second baseman Edmund, who boast the best infield defense in the major leagues.
It stands out that the lineup can be created in various ways according to the importance of the game and the characteristics of the opponent. This WBC will play a total of seven matches if it advances to the finals. It is expected to see the best lineup against Japan and Australia, which are considered critical among the 4 Group B matches in the first round.
However, if you look at the past WBC Korea matches, in the end, there were many cases where home runs were the deciding factor. This is why interest is focused on Park Byeong-ho and Choi Jung-jung’s bat. In addition to Japan and Australia, Cuba, the United States, and the Dominican Republic, which are likely to advance to the quarterfinals or higher, are also home to home run hitters. There is a limit to having a ‘rifle’ in short-term international competitions. The first round Group B league will be held at the hitter-friendly Tokyo Dome.
Regarding Park Byung-ho, coach Lee said, “I think Park’s skills will be fine in matches against Asian teams, and since the Tokyo Dome is small, I’m looking forward to a hit.” Park Byung-ho is the first baseman and Choi Jeong-eun is the third baseman.
In the first WBC in 2006, when Korea achieved a semifinal legend, Lee Seung-yeop took first place in both categories with 5 home runs and 10 RBIs, and in the 2009 2nd tournament, Kim Tae-gyun hit 3 home runs and 11 RBIs, taking first place in home runs and RBIs. did. However, in the 2013 and 2017 WBC, Korea was eliminated early in the first round because the other line was silent.