How long do I have to be Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong?”
This is the story I heard the most from baseball officials preparing for the World Baseball Classic (WBC). Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the left-handed triumvirate, Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto), Kim Gwang-hyeon (SSG) and Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA), have been wearing the Taegeuk mark for decades. Ryu Hyun-jin, who is undergoing rehabilitation after elbow ligament surgery, cannot join the WBC next year, but Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong are likely to board. This is because there are no juniors who can catch up to them in all aspects, including experience and position.
Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong emphasized, “It is a great honor to wear the Taegeuk mark and participate in an international competition,” and “now it is a competition that runs with a sense of mission.” At the same time, “I hope that juniors will often have opportunities to gain experience in international competitions. Regardless of the results, just getting on the mound at an international competition is an experience that money cannot buy.” They also played for the adult national team from the time of contract and stepped on the major league stage beyond the best in Korea.
Some of the young prospects who will follow the lineage of ‘national aces’ are experiencing international competitions in Australia. Geelong Korea, the first overseas league team in Korea, is playing the Australian Professional League (ABL). As of the 12th, Geelong Korea is at the bottom of the Southwest League with a 5-14 win rate of 0.263. Even in the entire league, the win rate is only 0.177 (3 wins and 14 losses), which is only 7th after Sydney.
Even so, the experience of competing against foreign players in Geelong Korea is a great asset to young players. Kim Seok-hwan, a prospective KIA giant, is recording 10 RBIs (10 games), including four homers, and Song Chan-eui (LG), the ‘Exhibition Home Run King’, is also raging with 14 RBIs and a batting average of 0.386 (11 games), the most in the team. Kiwoom prospect Jang Jae-young failed to win, but he is showing off a good pitch with an average ERA of 3.68. 안전놀이터
Regardless of winning or losing, just playing a league with foreign players can change the way you look at baseball. The Australian League is a place where major league teams put their sincerity to use as a kind of farm system. It is a stage where you can look at the world baseball trend and establish your own baseball perspective through competition with big league prospects. Due to the nature of the event, where there are not many international competitions, experiencing overseas leagues in itself is a great growth engine for young players.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), which prepares for the WBC, sincerely congratulates the national soccer team on reaching the World Cup round of 16, but is carrying a heavy burden. It is a burden that the baseball team must carry the sports fever aroused by the World Cup team. Since winning the Premier12 in 2015, he has not been able to achieve remarkable results in international competitions, and failing to advance to the final round at the WBC twice since 2013 also added to the burden. The fact that there are not many outstanding young players is also a concern of the KBO and the technical committee.It is important to solve immediate problems, but it is also necessary to invest in the distant future. It is also worth considering establishing international competitions by age and level so that children can gain international experience from a young age. Another way is to expand and organize competitions such as the Miyazaki Education League, which is the basis of Doosan’s ‘fire and water system’. It is not impossible if you have the financial power to readily spend 10 billion won for the cost of recruiting a free agent (FA). A frog in a well does not know the world.