The 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team, led by kt Wiz coach Lee Kang-cheol, will hold a preliminary meeting at the Riviera Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on the 16th and hold a meeting and orientation. It is the first step towards departure.
Excluding Young-Pyo Koh, So-Jun Sohn (Kt above), Jung-Hoo Lee (Kiwoom), Tae-In Won (Samsung), who have already left for the U.S. for personal training, and Tommy Hyeon-Soo, Edman (St. Everyone participates.
Director Lee Kang-cheol is the debut stage for the WBC as the national coach. Previously, he participated in the 2017 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) and the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang as a pitching coach with coach Seon Dong-yeol, and is the first national team coach.
The shoulders of the WBC national team are heavier than ever. It is not simply because of being eliminated in the first round of the 2013 and 2017 consecutive finals.
In order to bring back the popularity of professional baseball by turning back the footsteps of the distant MZ generation, the national team’s performance at this WBC is the most important thing.
After careful consideration, the team was formed with the most elite members.
In the midst of this, there is a cautious prospect that, like coach Lee Kang-cheol, what the ‘newbie’ representative players who will debut on the international stage with their first ‘Taegeuk’ mark through this WBC can be a big variable.
Among the 30 players in the national team, 9 players wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time.
Not to mention Edman, who is Korean-American for the first time, and is still in flux as he has not yet received permission from the club, but Choi Ji-man is also the first.
Here are 37-year-old veteran catcher Lee Ji-young (Kiwoom) and 30-year-old Kim Won-joong (Lotte).
With the pitch limit applied, veterans Kwang-Hyun Kim (SSG) and Hyeon-Jong Yang (KIA) are expected to go out to the bullpen at a crucial moment rather than starting, so Bin Kwak (Doosan), Yoon-Sik Kim (LG), and Joon So-Jun (kt) are expected to start in short innings. All of them wore the Taegeuk mark on their chests for the first time.
Cheol-Won Jeong (Doosan) and 스포츠토토 Woo-Young Jung (LG), who should play key roles in the bullpen, are also the first national players. Chang-mo Koo (NC), who will succeed the lineage of left-handers in Korean baseball, has been on the national team for the first time in six years since APBC in 2017.
Although somewhat unexpected, Na Seong-beom (KIA), the representative home run hitter of the KBO League, is the first in 8 years since the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and the 2015 Premier 12.
All of them are the main pillars of the team that will be responsible for the future of Korean baseball. They are also the lumberjacks who are sure to leap to a higher level through the national team.
The die is cast. Now we are just waiting for news of the national team’s promotion.