With the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Korean national team roster unveiled, interest from Japan, the ‘rival’, is also high.
KBO held a press conference on the 4th and announced 30 entries for the WBC team to be held in March. Out of 30 players, only 15 were pitchers. National team coach Lee Kang-cheol explained, “There is a pitch limit, so we tried to pick at least one more pitcher.”
It is known that coach Lee’s will to change generations was reflected in the pitching composition, but the players who should be the pillars are Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG) and Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA), who were born in 1988. The two veteran left-handed pitchers should pass this on to their juniors based on their rich experience in international competitions. Director Lee also said, “Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong should be leaders based on a lot of experience as seniors, so they will be used when it is important.”
Kim Gwang-hyun is a ‘living witness’ who has worn the national team uniform since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He participated in the 2009 WBC, 2014 Incheon Asian Games, 2015 and 2019 Premier 12, and missed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but this time he was on the national team again after 4 years.
Starting with the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, Yang Hyeon-jong participated in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, 2017 WBC, 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, and 2019 Premier 12. Prior to joining the national team, Yang Hyeon-jong was worried that he would not be a nuisance, but it is said that he decided to participate with one pride in representing the country.
Kim Myung-wook (3rd generation Korean-Japanese), a sports columnist who writes a column on the Japanese portal site ‘Yahoo Japan’, said on the 4th, “There may be many Japanese baseball fans who thought that there is another one. I was surprised that Yang Hyeon-jong’s name was there.”
“He is 34 years old and is a veteran as a player. They say this tournament is his last representative trip, but he is like an ‘uncle’. Nevertheless, public opinion is favorable to the boarding of two veteran players with rich experience in international competitions. The experience and performance of the two players Most of the prospects are that the morale of the team will increase according to this,” said Korean public opinion.
This column said, “The presence of the ace that plagued Japan in the past is still alive, but it is not easy for Korea to break through the first round. It is the first time in 14 years since the 2009 final match between the Korean national team and the Japanese national team in the WBC, Japan and Australia.” , predicted a classic for Korea, which belongs to Group B along with China.
◆ 2023 WBC Korea National Team 30-man roster
Pitcher: Ko Woo-seok Sohn Joon-jun Lee Yong-chan Won Tae-in Kim Won-joong Park Se-woong Park Se-woong Kwak Bin Jung Cheol-won Jung Woo-young Koh Young-pyo Kim Gwang-hyun Kim Yun-sik Yang Hyeon-jong Lee Ui-ri Koo Chang-mo (15) 메이저놀이터
Catcher: Yang Eui-ji Lee Ji-young (2)
Infielder: Choi Jeong Kim Hye-sung Oh Ji-hwan Park Byeong-ho Kang Baek-ho Kim Ha-seong Tommy Edman Choi Ji-man (8)
Outfielders: Lee Jung-hoo Kim Hyeon-soo Park Hae-min Na Seong-beom Park Geon-woo (5)