Japan, Korea 778 home run duo only to be wary?… Signs of a revival of genius sluggers are unusual

Genius Slugger’ Kang Baek-ho (24, KT Wiz)’s bat is fierce. He is in the mood to work at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.

On the 24th (Korean time), Kang Baek-ho started as the designated hitter in a practice game against kt held at the Keno Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, USA, and led the team to an 8-2 victory with 2 hits (1 home run) and 2 RBIs in 6 at-bats. On the 17th, he recorded his second home run in the practice game following a home run against the NC Dinos, and on the 19th, he added the KIA Tigers game, and the result of the 3 practice games was 6 hits (2 homers) and 4 RBIs in 15 at-bats.

It is no exaggeration to say that the hitting feeling is the hottest among the Korean batters who will participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). Kang Baek-ho had a batting average of 0.245 (58 hits in 237 at-bats), an OPS of 0.683, 6 home runs and 29 RBIs in 62 regular season games due to toe and hamstring injuries last year. Since his debut in 2018, his reputation as a ‘genius hitter’ has been cracked. His annual salary was cut from 550 million won last year to 290 million won this year, almost halved.

Kang Baek-ho, who is incisive, has been showing signs of resurgence since spring camp. Lee Kang-cheol, head coach of the Korean national baseball team, is proving day by day why he believed in Kang Baek-ho and picked him despite the sluggish performance last year. Coach Lee expects Kang Baek-ho to add weight to the batting line by playing as a designated hitter or first baseman. As major league first baseman Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh) failed to join the national team, Kang Baek-ho’s share grew even more.

The Japanese media, ‘Yomiuri Shimbun’, on the 23rd, picked Korea as the team to be most wary of in Group B in the first round of the WBC, and mentioned ‘778 Home Run Duo’ Choi Jeong (36, SSG) and Park Byeong-ho (37, kt) as representative sluggers. The media said, ‘Choi Jeong-eun is the third baseman with the second-highest home run (429) in the KBO history, and Park Byung-ho, who previously played for the Minnesota Twins in the major leagues, will take first base. Park Byeong-ho is ranked 4th in the history of the KBO with 362 homers.

The media only introduced more Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom), who declared a major league challenge after this season, and Kim Gwang-hyun (35, SSG), the traditional ‘Japanese killer’. Because Korea has not been able to use great power in recent international competitions such as the 2013 and 2017 WBC and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, young players are not getting attention except for last year’s KBO League MVP Lee Jung-hoo. The same goes for Baekho Kang. 슬롯사이트

Led by coach Lee, the Korean national team is sweating hard for the revival of baseball at this WBC. Kang Baek-ho, along with Lee Jung-hoo, has always been regarded as a leader in Korean baseball for the next 10 years or more, so he needs to prove himself in this WBC. For his revival this season, he needs to build a solid foothold from March. Will Kang Baek-ho be able to maintain a good pace from practice to competition and establish himself as Korea’s representative slugger, succeeding Choi Jeong and Park Byung-ho?

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