Odds king ignored by WBC, super bullpen, contributor to victory… why did you fall out

 Every time I was selected for the national team, big and small controversies followed. Each player has different eyes, and it is impossible to satisfy everyone 100%. The national team coach and technical committee chair have great authority, but they are burdensome. 

The 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team, led by coach Lee Kang-cheol, was selected relatively reasonably. The final 30 entries announced on the 4th were not controversial. ‘Hot Potato’ Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom), who couldn’t take off the label of school violence, was also excluded early and blocked the controversy. 

Of course, the national team seats are limited, and there were unfortunately some players who were not injured. 

On the pitcher side, Um Sang-baek (KT) was a pity as a starting resource. Eom Sang-baek, who was active in 33 games (140 1/3 innings) last year with an average ERA of 2.95 and 139 strikeouts in 33 games (140⅓ innings), became the winning percentage (.846). 

As for bullpen resources, left-hander Kim Jae-woong (Kiwoom) and right-hander Kim Min-soo (KT) also achieved good results to go to the national team. Kim Jae-woong played an active role in 65 games (62⅔ innings) with 3 wins, 2 losses, 13 saves, 27 holds, an average ERA of 2.01 and 56 strikeouts, helping Kiwoom to finish runner-up in the Korean Series. Kim Min-soo was the best middle pitcher last year with 5 wins, 4 losses, 3 saves, 30 holds, an average ERA of 1.90 and 91 strikeouts in 76 games (80⅔ innings). 

However, he did not meet the criteria for selection of pitchers for the national team. Manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “Most of the 15 pitchers are ground ball induction types. (First game on March 9) I put the game against Australia first and selected pitchers who could be strong against Australia. I talked to the power analysis team, and Australian batters are weak against large breaking balls and forkballs. The game against Australia is important because you have to go through the first round before the next round. I focused on that and picked a lot of pitchers with forkballs or curves with large angles.” 

Eom Sang-baek (0.56) and Kim Jae-woong (0.60) are typical fly-ball induction pitchers, rarely throwing forkballs or curveballs, as shown in the fly ball/ground ball out ratio last year. Kim Min-soo (1.13) is a ground ball judo type, but he pitched the most innings among all the bullpen pitchers last year, showing a decline in pitch at the end of the season. Among the right-handed bullpen pitchers, Kim Won-joong (Lotte) and Jung Cheol-won (Doosan) were pitchers with better pitches, and there was Lee Yong-chan (NC), who has a forkball as his main weapon. Kim Min-soo’s main weapon is the slider.  메이저사이트

Among batters, outfielder Choi Ji-hoon (SSG) is the most regrettable dropout. Choi Ji-hoon played in all 144 games last year, with a batting average of 3.4, 173 hits, 10 home runs, 61 RBIs, 93 points and 31 stolen bases, and an OPS of .789. In addition to batting, he caught 11 assists, the most among outfielders, with aggressive baserunning with quick feet, wide defense, and a strong arm. He contributed to SSG’s wire-to-wire unified victory with his performance in the triplex of air and water, and was also named 4th in the Golden Glove voting.  

He was placed on the WBC interest list, but he did not make the final five outfielders. He was pushed back by Park Hae-min (LG), a left-handed outfielder of the same type. His performance was good for Choi Ji-hoon, but the experience of Park Hae-min, who played a big role in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, was highly appreciated. Park Hae-min’s grades do not drop significantly, and there is no one with such experience as a backup resource to be used as a substitute runner or great defense in the game. It wouldn’t be strange whether Choi Ji-hoon or Park Hae-min was chosen, but Park Hae-min was recognized for his career and sense of stability.