Attention is focusing on whether Kim Gwang-hyeon (35) and Choi Jeong (36), who focused on SSG Landers’ ‘Wire-to-Wire’ victory last year, will show their temperament as matchmakers in the World Baseball Classic (WBC).
The ones who supported SSG last year were, of course, Kim Gwang-hyun and Choi Jeong. Kim Gwang-hyun, who returned after three years in the big leagues, was the best victory card SSG could pull out. During the regular season, the team’s win rate reached about 74%. In the Korean Series (KS), he devoted himself to starting and bullpen games in the 1st, 5th and 6th games. He took the mound as the closer in Game 6 and secured the KS championship. In 6 KS games, Jeongeun Choi had a batting average of 0.476 (10 hits in 21 bats), an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.403, 2 homers, and 9 RBIs. The KS Most Valuable Player (MVP) was Kim Kang-min, who changed the atmosphere of the series in the 5th game, but it was Choi Jeong-deok who was able to not turn over the flow.
They will go to another short-lived match with the WBC in March. Kim Gwang-hyun, who wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is about to make his 6th international debut. It is the first WBC appearance in 14 years since the 2nd tournament in 2009. Choi Jeong-eun, who wore the Taegeuk mark for the 5th time, will play the 3rd WBC following the 2nd and 3rd tournaments in 2009 and 2013. The two represented the country not only at the WBC but also at various major international competitions such as the Olympics, Asian Games, and Premier 12. 스포츠토토
Kim Gwang-hyun and Choi Jeong-eun are expected to take on heavy responsibilities. National team coach Lee Kang-cheol expressed his intention that he could use Kim Gwang-hyun as a bullpen pitcher rather than a starting pitcher. Since it is a short-term game where even 1 point and 1 loss can lead to different fates, the team plans to appoint a pitcher with a lot of international experience. Coach Lee also placed Choi Jeong in the center of the batting line from the practice game, and his performance is also very important in that one long hit can influence the mood.
The preparation process is smooth. Choi Jeong-eun recorded two hits and one RBI, including a home run, in practice matches against the NC Dinos and KIA Tigers held in Tucson, Arizona, on the 16th (Korean time) and the 19th. He also had three walks. Kim Gwang-hyun started against NC on the 16th and recorded 2 strikeouts and no runs against 5 batters.