The World Baseball Classic (WBC) team roster, which will start in Tokyo in March, has been finalized. Four center line infielders, three first basemen. How will the infield traffic control work?
KBO announced a list of 30 players scheduled to participate in the 2023 WBC at the Baseball Hall in Dogok-dong, Seoul on the 4th. The final entry deadline is on February 7 (Eastern time in the US) with plenty of time left, but if there are no variables including injuries, it is highly likely that the WBC will be played with the current entry.
This entry included three players playing in the major leagues: Ha-seong Kim (San Diego Padres), Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals), and Ji-man Choi (Pittsburgh Pirates). As ‘Korean’ Edmund’s participation was finalized, the Korean national team formed the major league ‘Keystone Combi’.
After the 2020 season, Kim Ha-seong signed a 4+1 year contract worth up to $39 million with San Diego and entered the big leagues. Ha-seong Kim failed to secure a starting position in his first season, but last year he replaced Fernando Tatis Jr. as the starting shortstop and played in 150 games, hitting 11 home runs and 12 steals with a batting average of 0.251 and 0.708 OPS. To this extent, he achieved remarkable growth in ball and defense.
Edmon is already a ‘main’ infielder for St. Louis. His position is solid enough to play full-time for two consecutive seasons. Edmund plays 159 games in the 2021 season and has excellent defense enough to hold a Gold Glove in the National League second baseman category. And last year, he recorded 153 hits, 13 homers, 32 stolen bases, a batting average of 0.265 OPS and 0.725 in 153 games, and most of the offensive indicators were rewritten.
Kim Ha-sung and Edman’s ‘keystone combination’ is not inferior at all even compared to the United States and the Dominican Republic, where major league ‘superstars’ are all out. Even compared to the Olympics, Asian Games, WBSC Premier 12, and the past WBC, it can be called the ‘strongest’ of all time.
Cho Beom-hyeon, the WBC Technical Committee Chairman, revealed the background of Edmund’s joining, saying, “Edmon had a meeting with the player last year when Yeom Gyeong-yeop (current LG Twins coach) technical committee chairman visited the United States, and at that time he received a confirmation from Edman.” Director Lee Kang-chul said, “Edman is a Gold Glove-winning player and can be used as a multi-player. Since he is playing in the major leagues with Kim Ha-seong, he will suit him as a keystone duo. We plan to use him as a starting pitcher.”
However, Oh Ji-hwan (LG Twins) and Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom Heroes), who won the Golden Glove for shortstop and second baseman in the KBO League last year, were all selected for this national team. It is clear that traffic control is unavoidable only when only four people can be responsible for the center line. If so, how will the national team be formed?
Director Lee Kang-cheol said, “There is only Choi Jeong (SSG) as the third baseman” from the reporters. He can play third base, but Ha-seong Kim judged that he had more stability.” Heo Gyeong-min was unable to join the national team due to back and back injuries.
Of course, the physical condition and condition at the time of the tournament is the most important, but basically, Kim Ha-seong and Edmon take on the main roles. Oh Ji-hwan is expected to be named in the starting lineup depending on the national team’s situation. If this happens, Kim Hye-seong, who is recording 156 stolen bases in the KBO league, is highly likely to contribute to the team with a large runner or pinch hitter in the middle and late game. 스포츠토토
Like the four-man center line, the national team also has three first basemen. These are Kang Baek-ho, Park Byung-ho (above KT) and Choi Ji-man. The command tower said, “The reason Kang Baek-ho was included was to strengthen the offensive power. We decided that it would be better for Kim Hyun-soo to be left fielder and Kang Baek-ho to be the designated hitter. Park Byeong-ho plays four games in Asia (Tokyo), but Tokyo Dome is small, so he can’t make a big hit. I was expecting it,” he said.
Next, Cho Beom-hyeon, chairman of the Technical Committee, added about Choi Ji-man, “He said that he would go to the United States to do a medical check and contact him.” First of all, head coach Lee Kang-cheol and Technical Committee Chairman Cho Bum-hyeon formed an entry considering the case that Choi Ji-man, who underwent surgery last year, could not join the team in the end.