SSG Landers’ winning core duo Choi Ji-hoon (25) and Park Seong-han (24)’s selection for the WBC national team leaves a deep regret.
WBC national team coach Lee Kang-cheol and WBC national team technical chairman Cho Beom-hyun held a press conference at the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) on the 4th and revealed the list of the final 30 players for the 5th 2023 WBC national team to be held in March. The entry consisted of 15 pitchers, 2 catchers, 8 infielders and 5 outfielders. The WBC will be played with the players on this list without major changes unless there is an injury.
However, it is controversial among fans that Choi Ji-hoon and Park Seong-han, who led SSG’s combined championship last season as center fielder and shortstop, failed to wear the Taegeuk mark.
It is a more regrettable result because not only the history of leading the championship, but also the fact that he showed off his skills that went up a notch by performing at the top of the league based on his position last year.
Some point out that Choi Ji-hoon and Park Seong-han became the scapegoats by selecting a relatively large number of pitchers and selecting veterans mainly because international competitiveness is important. In fact, these are two people who have been active enough to tell such stories.
Last season, Choi Ji-hoon ranked 4th in the league (7.77) in the win contribution (WAR) category for pitchers and fielders combined. Among the beasts, it was 3rd in the league following Kiwoom Lee Jung-hoo (10.25) in 1st place and Samsung Jose Pirella (7.77) in 2nd place.
In particular, Choi Ji-hoon’s defense win contribution against average (WAAwithADJ) record was 1.909, ranking first among all fielders in the league. Along with Park Hae-min (LG, 1.858), who placed second in the division, he showed off his defensive power overwhelmingly beating players below the third place, but was not selected by the national coaching staff and technical committee.
Instead, last season’s MVP Lee Jung-hoo, Kim Hyun-soo-Park Hae-min (LG), Na Seong-beom (KIA), and Park Kun-woo (NC) were selected for the outfielder category. Excluding Park Hae-min, who is quick-footed, has excellent defense, and has excellent operational ability, fielders with excellent hitting ability and a lot of experience tend to be selected. In the end, Choi Ji-hoon suffered another defeat after winning the Golden Glove despite showing off his outstanding performance last season and his best defense. 메이저사이트
It is also regrettable that Park Seong-han’s selection was canceled. A relatively large number of eight infielders were selected for this national team. Choi Jeong (SSG), Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom), Oh Ji-hwan (LG), Park Byeong-ho-Kang Baek-ho (kt), Kim Ha-seong (San Diego), Edman (St. Louis), and Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh) are the main characters.
Choi Ji-man’s joining, who has yet to undergo a medical test in Pittsburgh, a new transfer team, has variables, but the player’s will is strong and his rehabilitation is progressing well, so the possibility of joining is quite high. Eventually, as three big leaguers active in the major leagues joined only the infielder position, Park Seong-han was influenced.
Park Seong-han’s performance in the 2022 season was also outstanding. He played the season as a full-time shortstop, posting a 4.02 WAR that was 16th in the league for fielding. In addition, Park’s offensive WAR was 4.23, ranking 13th among fielders and 2nd among shortstops. The defense also boasted stable defense until the end of the league, digesting 1176 innings, the 5th among fielders in the league and the most among shortstops.
However, as the national coaching staff and technical committee selected the big league keystone combination of Kim Ha-seong and Edman, Park’s position became ambiguous. In the same position, while Kim Ha-seong was ranked first, he was not included in the list as he raised Oh Ji-hwan’s hand as a backup member.
In the case of a shortstop, depending on the situation, there are cases where he is on the roster while playing as an infield utility player for the national team. However, while Kim Ha-seong, Kim Hye-seong, and Edmon were all multiplayer players capable of multiple positions, Park Byung-ho, Kang Baek-ho, and Choi Ji-man were selected as three first baseman candidates, leaving Park Seong-han unselected.
Ultimately, the decision of the national coaching staff and the technical committee is the most important in the selection of the final entry. At the same time, it is also their responsibility to select them after thinking hard for a long time. Nevertheless, it is regrettable that SSG’s ‘winning duo’ could not be selected.