Kim Jung-hoo is a huge presence among the younger players in his 20s. Lee Jung-hoo is a big loss for the Asian Games team as he is out with an ankle injury.
KT pitcher Park Young-hyun recorded his 30th hold of the season with a one-hit, two-strikeout perfect game in the eighth inning against the Changwon NC on April 13. At 19 years, 11 months, and 2 days old, he became the youngest player in KBO history to reach the 30-hit mark. He surpassed the previous record of 21 years, 3 months, and 20 days set by Han Hyun-hee (then of Nexen) in 2014.
“My first goal is to win a gold medal at the Asian Games,” said Park, who is also a member of the Asian Games team.
However, there are many worries that the Asian Games team is the weakest ever. After the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, the KBO decided to focus on players aged 24 or younger and in their third year of professional baseball, with no interruption to the regular season for players aged 25 or younger (due to the one-year postponement of the Hangzhou Asian Games) and a maximum of three players per team.
The Asian Games squad is young, with most players having no international experience. Three wildcards (players with no age limit) were selected, all in their 20s.
However, Lee Jung-hoo, a key member of the team, suffered an ankle injury at the end of July and underwent surgery.
“I lost 70% of my power…” Park Young-hyun said weakly, referring to Lee’s injury. That means he’s a key player in the offense. Lee played for the national team at the 2018 Asian Games and continued to excel internationally until the World Baseball Classic in March.
When asked what percentage he thought he would be, Park humbly said, “I’d say about 1 percent, and I’m grateful for even 1 percent.”
The Hangzhou Asian Games team will convene at the Gocheok Dome on March 23 for their first training session. Lee’s absence isn’t the only concern.
NC Koo Chang-mo, who was expected to be a left-handed ace, has been out of action for more than three months due to an anterior forearm injury and a stress fracture in his left arm. Koo plans to pitch two innings against KT’s second team in the Futures League on April 19 in Iksan. Ryu Joong-il, the national team manager, and Cho Kye-hyun, the chairman of the Korea Baseball Organization, will travel to Iksan to watch him pitch.
KT’s Kang Baek-ho, the team’s leading hitter after Lee Jeong-hoo, also spent a long time in the second team due to physical and mental fatigue. He returned to the first team on May 5, but only as a substitute. Park Byung-ho, who recovered from a calf strain from Samsung Electronics on Nov. 14, has been playing first base, while Kang Baek-ho has been starting as the designated hitter.메이저놀이터
Last year’s save king Go Woo-seok and hold king Jung Woo-young have been up and down this season. Their ERAs are in the low 3s and high 4s, respectively. Ryu Joong-il, the head coach of the Asian Games team, has his work cut out for him.