South Korea’s baseball team kicked off a “generation change” at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games. The team won the gold medal despite being considered the weakest team in history. In addition to the spoils of winning four consecutive titles, the international competition was also significant for the high level of achievement of each athlete. Above all, the players gained experience in overcoming the pressure of a big game in the national spotlight.

Players who still had the potential to grow further in the league were given wings. NC catcher Kim Hyung-jun, who served as the national team’s anchor man, hit three home runs in four postseason games, showing a step up in both offense and defense since the Asian Games.

NC left-handed reliever Kim Young-gyu was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the series after going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three semifinal games against SSG. “I think we can do well in the league because of our experience at the Asian Games,” both players said.

There’s a ripple effect. The success of the young national team at the Asian Games has inspired a number of up-and-coming players in the KBO. A sense of purpose has grown in the minds of players their age who are eager to grow.

Moon Hyun-bin (Hanwha), who became the seventh player in KBO history to reach the 100-hit plateau as a high school rookie, said, “When I saw younger players I played with in the pros going to the national team, I wanted to wear the flag if I had the chance.”

With these accomplishments in hand, the team will soon embark on its second challenge: winning the 2023 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC). The APBC is a national competition for professional baseball players under the age of 24 or within their third year of playing in the Asian League to come together and showcase their skills.

Four nations, including Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia, will compete at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on April 16. While roster changes are still possible depending on the KBO League Korean Series schedule and injuries, Ryu’s roster includes a number of players who starred at the Hangzhou Asian Games, including Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha), Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), and Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom). Other ‘new faces’ like Kim Do-young (KIA) and Oh Won-seok (SSG) also contribute.토토사이트

While the tournament is a friendly competition designed to foster young players’ international experience, it is also an opportunity for the national team to accumulate valuable experience in the midst of a generational transition. In particular, the players will be able to make a sober assessment of the current national team’s strength while competing against their peers in the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization.

The tournament will also serve as a “warm-up” tournament for the national team as they face higher-level opponents in future international competitions, including the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

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