The World Classic is just around the corner, it has become routine to hear about players making clear their intention to play for their country or players who will play for their mother’s or father’s country. The tournament is held from Wednesday March 8 to Tuesday March 21, the tournament was played for the first time in 2006 with Japan becoming champion against Cuba with a score of 10-6, in this edition the Dominican Republic would be in fourth place and South Korea in third. in the next issue Japan would repeat as champion by beating the South Korean squad in extra innings by a score of five runs for three, Venezuela would get third place and the United States fourth.
The other two editions would be won by the Dominican Republic in 2013, being the only team to win the tournament undefeated and the United States would win in 2017, as a curious fact both teams beat Puerto Rico to become champion. South Korea decided not to waste time and announced on January 4 its list of players to represent the country in the tournament, the list is made up of 30 players, the majority being KBO (Korean Baseball League) players and some players who He is currently in MLB.
The roster is made up of 15 pitchers, 5 outfielders, 8 infielders and 2 catchers. Among the prominent names we can find Tommy Edmancurrent player for the St Louis Cardinals, Ji-Man Choi former Tampa Bay player, currently with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Ha-seong Kim who plays for the San Diego Padres. We also find players who are no longer in MLB, but have experience in the big tent such as: Kim Kwang-Hyun, Yang Hyeon-Jong, Kim Hyun-Soo and Park Byung-Ho. Rob Refsnyder, current outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, was on the preliminary roster but will not be in the tournament due to “personal matters” and as a curious fact, Edman is the first player not born in Korea to represent the country, Edman was born in Michigan.
The Korean squad will seek to surpass what was achieved in the second edition when they were runners-up. Korea is in the group B where it meets Australia, China, the Czech Republic and Japan. The games will be played in Tokyo from March 9 to 13.
SOUTH KOREA ROSTER
Pitchers (15): Go Woo-Suk (LG Twins), Jung Woo-Young (LG Twins), Ko Young-Pyo (KT Wiz), So Hyeong-Jun (KT Wiz), Lee Young-Chan (NC Dinos), Won Tae-In (Samsung Lions), Kim Won-Jung (Lotte Giants), Park Se-Woong (Lotte Giants), Gwak Been (Doosan Beers) y Jung Cheol-Won (Doosan Bears).
Catchers (2): Lee Ji-Young (Kiwoom Heroes) y Yang Eui-Ji (Dossan Bears)
Infielders (8): Choi Jung (SSG), Kim Hye-Seong (Kiwoom Heroes), Oh Ji-Hwan (LG Twins), Park Byung-Ho (KT Wiz), Kang Baek-Ho (KT Wiz), Kim Ha-Seong (Padres), Tommy Edman (Cardinals) y Ji Man-Choi (Piratas).
Outfielders (5): Lee Jung-Hoo (Kiwoom Heroes), Kim Hyun-Soo (LG Twins), Park Hae-Min (LG Twins), Na Sung-Bum (KIA), Park Kun-Woo.