Reporter Han Nam-jik = A large number of resources with experience as foreign players in the Korean Professional Baseball KBO League will participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), which opens in March this year.
Korean baseball fans can recall memories by watching those who represent each country.
Right-handed pitcher Merrill Kelly (Arizona Diamondbacks) and left-handed pitcher Brooks Reilly (New York Mets), two ‘former KBO leaguers’, were selected for the strongest candidate for the championship.
Kelly joined the SK Wyverns (now SSG Landers) in 2015 without ever standing on the stage of the American professional baseball major league.
Kelly, who played an active part in 4 seasons in SK with an average ERA of 3.86 and 48 wins and 32 losses in 119 games, was ‘reverse exported’ to Arizona in 2019.
Kelly, who has been a big league starter since the first year of his return to the United States, started all 97 games in the 2019-2022 season and posted an average ERA of 3.96 with a record of 36 wins and 35 losses.
In 2022, he played the role of Arizona’s practical ace with 13 wins and 8 losses and an earned run average of 3.37, and also succeeded in winning the WBC national team.
Rayleigh joined Team USA as a left-handed bullpen resource.
Rayleigh, who threw as a starter for the Lotte Giants from 2015 to 2019 and posted an ERA of 4.13 with an average of 48 wins and 53 losses, returned to the major leagues in 2020 and played as a bullpen pitcher.
Last year, he appeared in 60 games for the Tampa Bay Rays, going 1-2 with 6 saves and 25 holds with a 2.68 earned run average, establishing himself as a key bullpen.
The Mets, aiming to win the 2023 season, strengthened their bullpen by signing Rayleigh in a trade.
When Rayleigh played in the KBO League, he dominated Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) with no hits in 15 at-bats.
Korea and the United States will only meet after the semifinals.
If Korea and the US face each other in the semifinals or finals, a true swordsman’s match between ‘preliminary big leaguer’ Lee Jung-hoo and ‘KBO big leaguer’ Rayleigh could unfold.
Robert Stark (Milwaukee Brewers Minor League), who has ‘Jewish lineage’, will represent Israel in the WBC.
Stark posted a 9-10 ERA of 3.60 last year at the Doosan Bears by throwing a fast ball at a maximum speed of 158 km/h.
Stark, who failed to renew his contract with Doosan, signed a minor league contract with Milwaukee, and will be on the mound for Israel in March of this year.
Dutch outfielder Roger Bernardina (Nicaragua Leones) stimulates the nostalgia of KIA Tigers fans.
Bernardina played for the KIA for two seasons in 2017 and 2018, posting a batting average of 0.315, 47 homers and 64 stolen bases in 270 games. He was also the main player in the 2017 KIA Unified Championship.
Born in 1984, he plays active duty even ahead of the bulhok. After 10 years since 2013, he will also stand on the WBC stage.
Left-handed pitcher Wang Wei-chung (Taiwan), who played for the NC Dinos in 2018, left-handed pitcher Andrew Albers (Canada), who wore a Hanwha Eagles uniform in 2014, infielder Lovel Garcia (Italy), who briefly played for the LG Twins last year, at kt wiz in 2022 Outfielder Henry Ramos (Puerto Rico), who started the season but played only 18 games due to injury, was also selected for the WBC national team. 온라인바카라
There is also a player who will face Korea in Group B in the first round.
Warwick Saupold (Perth, Australia), who led the Hanwha mound in 2019 and 2020, is considered a key pitcher for the Australian national team in this tournament.
A right-handed pitcher, Saupold posted a 22-24 record with a 4.16 ERA in 59 appearances over two seasons in the KBO League.
There is also a possibility that he will start in the first match against Korea, which will be held at Tokyo Dome in Japan on March 9 at 12:00 noon.
Saupold slows down with an average ERA of 5.56 with 3 wins and 2 losses in the 2022-2023 Australian League, but the experience of playing in the big leagues and the KBO league cannot be ignored.
Pitcher Chris Oxspring, born in 1977, who played for LG, Lotte, and kt and is still active in the Australian league, was named to the Australian national team’s ‘preliminary list’.