Korean baseball was eliminated in the first round after losing to Australia and Japan at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held in March. The topic of strengthening international competitiveness was raised, forgetting the splendid achievements of winning the gold medal in the 2006 and 2009 Olympics and the Beijing Olympics.
WBC said a lot during the player selection process. Although his skills are top-notch in the KBO League, it was noisy as to whether pitcher Ahn Woo-jin, who had the best form in the league, was selected. Major League Baseball Shin-soo Choo’s convictions about the related controversy were beaten for the direction, and opinions were divided on whether or not to change the generation he pointed out together.
On the 10th, the Korea Baseball Organization (WBC) named the existing technical committee as the Power Reinforcement Committee, and moved for the national team’s continuous and future-oriented move. Former KIA Tigers general manager Jo Gye-hyun was appointed as the chairman, and a week later, a clear policy was established not to select players who had caused controversy in the past, such as violence and drunk driving, to the national team.
That will was also confirmed in the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games preliminary list (198 players) announced by the KBO and the Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA) on the 28th. In the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games held in 2018, the A national team was actually formed, but in this Hangzhou competition, players under the age of 25 or under the age of 4 years of professional debut were named according to the already announced selection criteria. Even this, the competition was postponed for a year due to the corona issue, and the standard was raised by one year.
Players who have already led the national team for decades, such as Kim Hyun-soo and Kim Gwang-hyun, have officially and unofficially announced their retirement from the national team. A generational shift is also expected to occur naturally. In particular, the preliminary entry for the national team’s wild card in the Hangzhou tournament represents such a will. Unlike last year (before the tournament was postponed), when Yang Eui-ji, Kang Min-ho, and the best catchers in the league were named, the age range has decreased as the oldest players are Jang Seung-hyun and Kim Jun-tae, born in 1994. There are no pitchers either Kim Gwang-hyun or Yang Hyeon-jong. Among the players who joined the WBC, only Park Se-woong and Koo Chang-mo were named.
A clean entry configuration has also been realized. An Woo-jin was also eliminated from the entry for the Hangzhou tournament. Whether or not he will board the ship has already been foretold due to KBSA’s punishment. However, Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates), who is currently developing a presence in the Major League (MLB), is also missing. Bae Ji-hwan had a history of summary indictment from the Daegu District Prosecutors’ Office on charges related to dating violence in 2018, and was disciplined by the MLB Secretariat.
There are still controversies regarding military service benefits, but the intention to realize a generational change and form a ‘supported national team’ is clearly visible. In particular, expectations are growing for the boarding of promising players in the 1st and 2nd years of the KBO League this season, where there are many ‘preliminary stars’ that attract attention. 스포츠토토
Second-year right-handed pitcher Moon Dong-ju, who rewrote the record for the highest speed by a domestic pitcher (160.1km/h), Kim Seo-hyun (above Hanwha Eagles), first overall in the 2023 rookie draft, Yoon Young-cheol, who joined the KIA Tigers starting rotation from the first season, Kiwoom Heroes Kim Dong-heon, who reserved the next starting catcher, and Song Young-jin (SSG Landers), who made the first quality start this season as a rookie pitcher against the LG Twins on the 26th, were named. There are also players who are likely to make their names up to the final entry.
After returning to his team after finishing the WBC, Lee Jung-hoo, the KBO league’s leading hitter, said, “We also need to play actual games regularly, not the national team that is only convened and operated when there are international competitions. There is a big difference between having experience and fighting in real life,” he said.
A preliminary entry with a whopping 198 names. Unlike the previous competitions, it is clear why it has received special attention. This is because the will of baseball fans who wished for change was reflected a little.