The 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) is expected to remain a symbolic competition that clearly shows the current state of Korean baseball. The pride of ‘Still, we are the WBC semifinal team’ is now gone, and instead, the sense of crisis that we must not be pushed to the periphery of baseball is filled in its place.
The result of being eliminated in the first round three times in a row at the WBC shows the reality of Korea, which is no longer a strong player.먹튀검증 This reality becomes more serious with the age of the main players of the national team. After the end of the WBC in 2023, there is a high possibility that a semi-forced generational shift will take place. Key players who have led the national team for a long time, such as Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG) and Kim Hyun-soo (LG), declared their end. The golden generation, who led Korean baseball in the mid and late 1980s, is also expected to follow in their footsteps.
Even though players in their mid-30s can talk about the present of Korean baseball, they cannot guarantee the future. Naturally, the fans’ attention is focused on the ‘next generation’. Interest in young players in their early 20s who will support them, as well as players in their mid and late 20s who are in their prime like Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), is expected to continue to grow. It is a story that will receive greater attention as the hope of Korean baseball, not simply as a promising team.
Representative players are infielder Kim Do-young and right-hander Moon Dong-ju, who drew a lot of attention over KIA’s selection in the 2022 rookie draft. The two players, who are in their second year this year, are looking forward to the 2023 season, which has grown further through trial and error last year.
The talent is incredible. Kim Do-young is highly regarded as a 5-tool player with ball, defense, and run. In particular, when it comes to her athletic ability, the dominant view is that a large infielder has appeared after a long time. Moon Dong-ju is also a starter and has an innate talent to throw at an average speed of over 150 km per hour. He has stamina, and he also has an intimidating power. This is the talent that Korean baseball was most thirsty for at this WBC, and that Japan was most envious of.
The problem is that there is no guarantee that talent will lead to performance. In the meantime, numerous promising players have entered the KBO League stage, but there are only a handful of cases in which this talent was properly nurtured and the potential exploded. It’s been quite some time since KBO League clubs put the keyword in ‘nurturing’. However, there are still a lot of trial and error, and there are many clubs whose direction fluctuates every year without establishing an accurate concept. This is why KIA and Hanwha’s moves will attract fans’ attention.
Hanwha coach Carlos Subero, who has accumulated training experience through all levels of American baseball, emphasizes that “the box must be torn.” There are many talents in Korean baseball, but they are confined to a certain framework and that talent cannot grow. This is a story that Subero has been telling since he took office.
Coach Subero said, “It’s very unfortunate that you’re trying to show off your skills only in the box. You shouldn’t just play baseball that’s too common sense.” Baseball is good, but if you get out of that mold, you can show a better image.”
Each club has a different way of nurturing, and as much as the environment they are in, there is no right answer. However, we need to ask ourselves whether we are being buried too much in the framework. In order for the two players to break the box and advance to the world stage, accurate analysis of reality by the clubs must be premised. It is noteworthy what kind of results await in the next important five years.