Lee Kang-cheol, coach of the Korean national baseball team, announced the final entry for the 30-man 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) on the 4th.
What is noteworthy is the lineup of the left tiles. Among the 15 fielders, catchers Lee Ji-young (37, Kiwoom Heroes) and Yang Eui-ji 메이저사이트 (36, Doosan Bears), infielders Park Byung-ho (37, kt Wiz) and Choi Jeong (36, SSG Landers), Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres), and outfielder Park Geon-woo ( Except for 33 NC), 9 players are left-handed batters. Right-handed hitters are rare, so much attention is being paid to right-handed pinch hitter Park Gun-woo.
Na Seong-beom (34, KIA Targaz) – Lee Jeong-hu (25, Kiwoom) – Kim Hyun-soo (35, LG Twins) are expected to take over the outfield of the national team. Since there are limited seats, there is a high possibility that Park Gun-woo will wait on the bench, and coach Lee revealed his intention to use Park Gun-woo as a joker in the second half of the game.
Coach Lee is expecting a lot from Park, the only right-handed hitter among the outfielders, to the point of explaining, “I’m thinking of Park Gun-woo as a right-handed pinch hitter” after announcing the entry on the 4th.
Since his debut in 2009, Park Kun-woo has consistently shown strength as a left-handed pitcher. During the 7 seasons from the 2016 season, when he played full-time, to last year, he recorded a batting average of 0.334 (278 hits in 833 at-bats), 27 home runs, 118 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.901 against left-handed pitchers.
After making the leap to his starting position, his scoring position batting average is high at 0.324 (278 hits in 857 at-bats). Although the sample is small, he has a pinch hit batting average of 0.300 (9 hits in 30 at-bats) and 11 RBIs with an OPS of 0.967, so he is emerging as a top-class joker to overcome the left-handed tile-colored lineup.
When the frustrating flow continues, the role of a pinch hitter who can change the flow of the game is important. In a lineup full of left-handed hitters, I wonder if right-handed hitter Park Kun-woo will be able to use his advantage to energize the national team’s offense.