“I have prepared really well. I am not worried at all.”
Lotte pitching coach Bae Young-soo and national team bullpen coach expressed satisfaction with the pace of Kim Won-joong preparing for the World Baseball Classic (WBC).
He said that he started building his body early and is currently in a very good condition. It is a response that there is no problem in adapting to the WBC official ball, which is different from the ball used in the KBO league.
During last winter, Kim Won-joong went through personal training at his alma mater Dongseong High School in Gwangju.
He got into shape faster than before in preparation for the WBC.
His pace is so good that he started pitching in the bullpen right away after joining the Guam spring camp. He pitched to the bullpen five times, the most currently on the team.
Guwi has already received a passing grade. Coach Bae Young-soo, who is also the bullpen coach of the national team, said, “Kim Won-joong has the best pace among the current pitchers. He has power on the ball and his speed keeps coming up. He seems to have prepared really well. He is also full of confidence psychologically. His readiness is amazing. He said, “It’s good to look forward to it.”
His adaptation to the official ball is also proceeding smoothly. Most of the national team pitchers are struggling with the slippery ball rather than the KBO League, but Kim Won-joong responds that there is no big problem in this part.
Coach Bae said, “Kim Won-joong also said that he felt the ball was a little slippery at first. But when he throws the ball, he responds that the more he throws, the better it fits in his hand. He went so far as to say that the official ball became more comfortable. He said it was a ball that suited him well. It can be said that with the new ball, the burden of throwing has decreased. Especially for a player like Kim Won-joong whose main weapon is a splitter, it is important that the ball does not slip out of his hand, but Kim Won-joong does not seem to have to worry about such a problem at all.” 메이저놀이터
As for Kim Won-joong, his grades last year were not very outstanding.
He only started 43 games and went 2-3 with 17 saves and 2 holds, with an earned run average of 3.98. It is true that he did not completely collapse, but he did not live up to expectations.
He is the only player on the national team whose salary has been cut.
The WBC is a tournament that gives Kim Won-joong an opportunity to regain his pride. He needs to prove that he is a top class finish in the league through the WBC.
In particular, the reason why Kim Won-joong was selected was that the splitter was his main weapon. As the Australian players, whom the Korean national team must catch, are generally weak against splitters, it is highly likely that they will be used in the match against Australia. It can be said that he is the player who holds the key to the Korean national team’s advance to the quarterfinals.
Kim Won-joong, who has already completed adapting to the official ball through steady preparation. As coach Bae Young-soo said, he is waiting for the best tournament with the best preparation.
It remains to be seen whether Kim Won-joong can contribute to the smooth progress of the Korean national team.