In the end, only the KBO’s No. 1 shortstop goes to the WBC.
There were four shortstops on the WBC national team’s 50-man interest list: Ha-seong Kim (San Diego Padres), Oh Ji-hwan (LG), Seong-han Park (SSG), and Chan-ho Park (KIA). Only Kim Ha-seong and Oh Ji-hwan survived the 30-person final entry. Park Sung-han and Park Chan-ho, aka ‘Park Brothers’, promised the following.
was somewhat predictable. Kim Ha-seong announced his intention to participate in the WBC early on, and booked the national shortstop. In addition, Korean-American Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals) also sent a positive signal to join the 스포츠토토 national team relatively early.
With the keystone combination solidified, the concern was who would be in charge of the backup. It was predicted that Kim Hye-seong, who had been reborn as the league’s best airlifter and general manager since last year, would occupy a spot at second base, and it became a reality. Kim Hye-seong is also capable of shortstop and has value as a large runner. He is the right type for the national team.
In the end, Oh Ji-hwan became the best shortstop backup ever. In fact, when looking only at his overall abilities such as his batting and defense, it is difficult to see that Kim Ha-seong is significantly inferior to his days playing for Kiwoom. Manager Lee Kang-cheol plans to appoint Oh Ji-hwan as shortstop when Kim Ha-seong moves to third base according to the flow of the game.
As this happened, shortstops Seong-Han Park and Chan-Ho Park, who represent the KBO League, were not given the opportunity to wear the Taegeuk mark. In particular, in the case of Park Chan-ho, he secretly revealed his desire for the WBC team during the 2022 season. Park Seong-han must have felt the same way.
Park Seong-han is a sophisticated shortstop who can score 30%. Park Chan-ho is a quick-footed shortstop with good defense, as the title of stolen base explains. In the 2022 season, he also opened his eyes to hitting. Park Seong-han and Park Chan-ho are perfect as shortstops for the national team with a promising future. However, the reality is that he is one step lower than Oh Ji-hwan in many ways.
However, there is no need for Park Seong-han and Park Chan-ho to be frustrated. The Hangzhou Asian Games await in September. Kim Ha-seong can’t play in the Asian Games anyway. Edmund’s Taegeuk mark is limited to this WBC. If Park Seong-han and Park Chan-ho show the skills of the 2022 season unchanged this season, the possibility of participating in the Asian Games is sufficient.
The Asian Games’ own age limit may be adjusted from 24 years old last year to 25 years old this year. Park Seong-han, born in 1998, should be seen as strong in participating in the Asian Games. On the other hand, Park Chan-ho, born in 1995, should aim for his wild card. Oh Ji-hwan, born in 1990, is also a wild card candidate. Both are good wild cards.
In the long run, the shortstop for the national team is highly likely to be centered around Oh Ji-hwan, unless it is for the WBC. A composition is drawn in which Park Seong-han and Park Chan-ho compete in good faith. It is not a bad composition in terms of healthy competition and growth between the two.