“This is the first time I’ve ever been on the national team.”
Kim Won-joong (30, Lotte Giants) was named to the final 30-man list for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). Kim Won-joong, who played a big role as a closer with his long hair fluttering in his team Lotte. He showed his presence by recording 2 wins, 3 losses, 2 holds, 17 saves, and an average ERA of 3.98 in 43 games last year, and was selected by coach Lee Kang-cheol to wear the Taegeuk mark. 메이저놀이터
Kim Won-joong, who was contacted by Spotv News on the 6th, said, “It is my first time participating in a national competition. It is an honor to represent my country. I think it will be new. I will train hard and prepare for the competition,” he said.
Kim Won-joong, who wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time in his life. Even during his school days, he was considered a national prospect, but he had no relationship with the national team. Even though he was selected for the tournament, he missed the race due to an injury. Kim Won-joong said, “It was the first time I was selected for the national team. I was selected for the youth national team, but he was sick by the time he left for the tournament.”
Kim Won-joong, who played an active role as a closer in the league, is expected to be used as a midfielder in the WBC as well. Kim Won-joong is also expected to appear in a crisis situation. He said, “Lotte also threw the ball in the second half of the game. I think it will be similar in the national team. I wonder if I will take the mound in an important situation or when a runner is out of crisis,” he promised to do his best in the given task.
Manager Lee Kang-cheol also put his hopes on pitchers who use breaking pitches as decisive pitches, saying, “The match against Australia is the top priority. The swing trajectory of the hitters seems to be weak against forkballs and curveballs.” Kim Won-joong also plans to actively utilize his main weapon, the fork or curve. He said, “I think forks and curves are unfamiliar to Western players. I’m trying to see the reaction while throwing them.”
He is trying to adapt quickly to the WBC official ball. The ball made by Rawlings has a smooth surface and shallow seams. Kim Won-joong expressed his confidence in adapting to the official ball, saying, “It is more slippery than the ball used in the KBO League. The stitching is flat. I think you will know it only when you throw it in a game. Rosin can also be used, so I will get used to it quickly through practice.”
Meanwhile, Korea will play the first round of the 2023 WBC at the Tokyo Dome in Japan in March. They were drawn in Group B along with Australia, Japan, China and the Czech Republic.