‘Perfect’ WBC pitching staff, is there anything more to replace here?

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced the final roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) on the 4th. The list of 30 seemed indisputable. Players with poor skills were not selected for floating reasons such as ‘experience in international competitions’. There are no players selected with awareness of future military service exceptions. Nevertheless, top players were selected for each position. A large number of players in their 20s also boarded.

The highlight is the 15-member pitching team. Looking at the roster carefully selected by national team coach Lee Kang-cheol, who is considered the best pitching expert in Korea, the modifier ‘perfect’ is not awkward.

Considering the fact that the national team’s signature pitchers are Kim Gwang-hyeon (SSG Landers) and Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA Tigers), the roster may be boring. This is the reason Choo Shin-soo (SSG Landers) pointed out on a Korean radio broadcast last week, “How long will Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong go? Even in Japan, there is an article saying, ‘There is Kim Kwang-hyun again’.” Choo Shin-soo said, “It’s not that these players lack skills. There are many young players with good skills. Why can’t such players be (selected)?” insisted.

A closer look at the list tells a different story. The ‘young players with good skills’ mentioned by Choo Shin-soo have already boarded in large numbers. Ten out of 15 pitchers are in their 20s. Chang-mo Koo (NC Dinos) Woo-seok Ko (LG Twins) Se-woong Park (Lotte Giants) Joon So-jun (KT Wiz) Ui-ri Lee (KIA), who have already risen to become top pitchers in the league, as well as Bin Kwak and Cheol-won Jung (Doosan Bears) Yun-sik Kim (LG ) were also selected.

Of course, five veterans, including ‘Kwang Hyeon-jong’, were also included. However, director Kang-Cheol Lee did not choose based solely on his experience. Instead, he considered the diversity of pitching types. Coach Lee also explained, “Considering the swing trajectory of the opponent batters, we selected pitchers who used breaking balls with large drops such as forkballs. 먹튀검증 In preparation for the game against Australia, we selected pitchers who threw breaking balls well.”

Kim Gwang-hyun was the league’s best ‘changing ball ace’ in the 2022 season. He increased the rate of his slider (38.1%) and changeup (22.7%) than his fastball (27.6%), ranking second in earned run average (2.13). Yang Hyeon-jong has a high fastball usage rate (52.6%), but he knows how to use both the slider and changeup evenly by more than 20%. The two pitchers are not only old and experienced, but also have the ability to throw the deciding ball differently according to the type of opponent.

The other three also possessed the breaking ball that Lee wanted. Koh Young-pyo (KT) is a pitcher with sidearms, which is considered “essential for international competitions,” and has the best changeup in the league. Last year, his changeup usage rate (46.1%) was higher than the two-seam fastball (38.2%), and his performance was excellent. Lee Yong-chan (NC) and Kim Won-joong (Lotte)’s mission is to use forkball. They ranked first and second in the league with 46.6% and 46.4% respectively.