The Korean baseball team disappointed many baseball fans by experiencing three consecutive first round elimination in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). This time, there is no league-best pitcher An Woo-jin (24, Kiwoom Heroes). Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh), who is raising stock prices in the Major League (MLB), is also missing. However, players who bring new hope are attracting attention.
The Korea Baseball 먹튀검증Organization (KBO) and the Korea Baseball Softball Association confirmed the preliminary list for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games on the 28th.
A whopping 198 players were named. It is a difficult list to attach great importance to. However, it is possible to evaluate those who are excluded here as well as those who are certain to be selected.
The roster consists of 180 pros (86 pitchers, 19 catchers, 47 infielders, 28 outfielders) and amateur players, including 147 players under the age of 25 or less than 4 years old (17 rookies) and 33 wild cards. 18 players (10 pitchers) were selected.
A distinctive feature is the exclusion of Ahn Woo-jin and Bae Ji-hwan. Previously, Chairman Gye-hyun Jo of the Power Reinforcement Committee said, “We decided to exclude (those with problems) from the national team list in relation to drinking, violence, and sexual crimes in the first place.” I couldn’t even name it. Even if they do not necessarily have to be in the preliminary entry to be listed on the final list, in fact, they gave up their dream of Taegeuk mark early.
However, I see a name that gives new hope. The national team made baseball fans frustrated at the 2023 WBC. In particular, unlike players such as Japan who easily throw fast balls exceeding 160 km/h, it was difficult to find players who threw fiery fastballs, and the pitching staff collapsed and eventually had to be eliminated.
It gives hope that this time will be different. It is because of the ‘160km duo’ of the Hanwha Eagles, Moon Dong-ju (20) and Kim Seo-hyun (19).
Moon Dong-ju, a second-year professional, is showing amazing pitching with an ERA of 1.08, 1 win and 1 loss in 3 games this season. In particular, against the KIA Tigers on the 12th, he became the first Korean player in the history of the KBO League to throw the ball at over 160 km per hour, leaving his name in history.
Kim Seo-hyun also recorded the highest speed of 160 km on Hanwha’s own Trackman equipment. The KBO official record was recorded as 157.9 km, but it showed the possibility of being able to spray 160 km. He also pitches well with an ERA of 2.25, giving up 3 runs (1 earned) in 4 innings after starting only with the bullpen in 3 games after the opening.
The Asian Games are almost the only window to enjoy military service privileges. You can enjoy this benefit by winning a gold medal at the Asian Games or a medal at the Olympics, but as baseball is excluded from the 2024 Paris Olympics, the performance of the Hangzhou Asian Games has become more important. Moreover, unlike in the past, the national team was not formed with the best players in the KBO League, but mainly with players under the age of 25, so this opportunity is inevitably desperate. If you are aiming for overseas expansion in the future, harvesting a gold medal is inevitably advantageous.
On the other hand, it seems that hope for a generational change can be confirmed. At the center of it all are Moon Dong-ju and Kim Seo-hyun. It is also their mission to make Ahn Woo-jin’s vacancy not to be remembered with a fiery fast ball.