Despite a very strong baseball culture in South Korea, this has not translated into good performances in the last two World Baseball Classics, even going so far as not to leave his group. However, everything had started well for the South Koreans during the first editions.
However, that could change in 2023, although Japan will remain the big favorites in Group B. A second place finish in the preliminary round would propel them into the quarter-finals against a very takeable opponent.
The leaders of the Korean formation will certainly be Ha-Seong Kim of the San Diego Padres and Tommy Edman of the Saint-Louis Cardinals. Yes yes, Tommy Edman. It’s that the infielder’s mother was born in South Korea.
Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Ji-Man Choi was originally scheduled to play, but the Pirates kept him out due to elbow surgery.
However, it should be noted the presence of the player par excellence of the KBO in 2022, Jung-Hoo Lee, he who should cross overseas next year to start his career in the MLB. Several MLB alumni will also be present.
Offensively, the starting lineup might look like this:
- Kun-Woo Park DH
- Tommy Edman SS
- Ha Seong Kim 2B
- Jung-Hoo Lee CF
- Byung Ho Park 1B
- Jeong Choi 3B
- Sung-Bum Na RF
- Hyun-Soo Kim LF
- Eui-Ji Yang C
On the mound, the pitching staff that was retained for the competition dominated the KBO last season. It remains to be seen whether these successes will carry over to the Classic.
South Korea will certainly want to avenge the embarrassing 2-1 loss to Israel in 2017 and make a good start in the tournament. Everything leads us to believe that she will succeed.