Group 1.5 or Group 2…Hangzhou AG, as expected ‘home’ is a concern

The biggest concern of the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG), which will be held in September, is the ‘home’.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) confirmed the Hangzhou AG reserve list on the 28th of last month and submitted it to the Korea Sports Association through the Korea Baseball Softball Association. A total of 198 players, including 180 pros (86 pitchers, 19 catchers, 47 infielders, 28 outfielders) and 18 amateurs (10 pitchers), were listed on the preliminary list. There is no age limit for AG baseball events. However, in the Hangzhou tournament, with the goal of changing generations of the national team, a final entry of 24 players will be made up of players under the age of 25 or under the age of 4 years, and 3 wild cards (maximum 1 per club) selected without age or joining restrictions.

Looking at the preliminary list, the trend for generational change is strong. Most of the wild cards were also selected under the age of 30. The same goes for the catcher position, which attracted the most attention. First of all, Yang Eui-ji (Doosan Bears) and Kang Min-ho (Samsung Lions), who had divided the national team catcher position for several years, were excluded. In addition, Kang-Nam Yoo (Lotte Giants), Jae-Hoon Choi (Hanwha Eagles), Dong-Won Park (LG Twins), Se-Hyeok Park (NC Dinos), who are the main host of each club, are also missing. All of them were included in the preliminary list for Hangzhou AG held in April last year, but not this time. 

Hangzhou AG was originally scheduled to open in 2022. However, due to the spread of Corona, the tournament will be postponed for one year and will open on September 23rd. The KBO, which newly created the reserve list, increased the number of catchers from 12 (6 wild cards) to 19 (9 wild cards), most of which were filled with first-team backups or second-team players. Only Han Seung-taek (KIA Tigers), Kim Joon-tae (KT Wiz), and Ahn Joong-yeol (NC) have more than 300 first-team experience among the reserve roster. Park Dae-on (NC), Jang Seung-hyeon (Doosan), and Jung Bo-geun (Lotte), who have a lot of experience in the first team, were also named, but considering their weight in the team, it is not easy to get the Taegeuk mark.

Jeon Jeon (SSG), who was included in the reserve list, has 1 game experience in the first team. Kim Jae-seong (Samsung) and Kim Hyeong-joon (NC) are undergoing rehabilitation for flank and knee ligament injuries, respectively. In particular, it is difficult for Kim Hyeong-jun to play in AG as he can only return in the second half. For various reasons, if candidates are selected, fewer players will compete.메이저사이트

A club official said, “I feel the need for a generational change, but it is also true that I am worried about how to manage the catcher. If the pitching staff is young, the catcher is more important, so we have to wait and see what solution they will show.” Another club official also asked back, “Experience is important for catchers. Can he catch both rabbits: a generational change and grades?”

As a rule, the KBO selects 1 to 3 players per club, including wild cards. Considering that the league is played without interruption, the number of recruits for each club was limited. The final selection and approval by the Korea Baseball Softball Association’s Performance Improvement Committee will be finalized in June.

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