The 26-man roster for the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) 2023 has been finalized. The final roster will be further adjusted based on the upcoming Korean Series schedule. A preliminary roster of 20 players has also been finalized and announced.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced today the 26-man roster for the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) in Tokyo, Japan, at a joint press conference with the managers of the participating nations.
The Asian Professional Baseball Championship was first organized in 2017 with the aim of providing prospective players with international competition experience. The tournament was originally scheduled to be held every four years, but was pushed back by two years due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This year’s event is the first in six years. As the tournament is dominated by young players, the preliminary roster is composed of players aged 24 or younger (born after January 1999) or within their third year in the KBO, with up to three players aged 29 or younger (born after January 1, 1994) as wild cards.
The KBO said, “The players selected through the Power Enhancement Committee will gather in Daegu on May 5 and hold training and practice games at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu from May 6 to 13. However, there will be changes in the number of participants in the training camp depending on the postseason schedule.” “The final roster for the tournament may also be adjusted depending on the Korean Series schedule,” the KBO explained.
A total of 20 reserve players are allowed to participate in the tournament according to the regulations. The Power Enhancement Committee selected and announced the 20 reserve rosters today in anticipation of the Korean Series and postseason schedule, as well as in case a player needs to be replaced due to injury. The final roster will have 14 days to make changes.
Twelve pitchers account for the first 26 roster spots. Jung Woo-young (LG), Park Young-hyun (KT), Jung Hae-young (KIA), Won Tae-in (Samsung), Choi Jun-yong (Lotte), Kwak Bin (Doosan), and Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha) were named as right-handed pitchers. Among them, Moon Dong-ju had a great performance at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. He started the final game against Chinese Taipei and pitched six innings of three-hit ball, striking out seven and walking none to win the gold medal for his country. In addition, Kwak Bin had a career-high season in the KBO, even though he missed the Hangzhou Asian Games roster due to sore throat. Park Young-hyun also won a gold medal for his untouchable performance, while Jeong Woo-young is expected to be even more impressive at the APBC as a sidearm option.
The left-handed pitchers are Oh Won-seok (SSG), Lee Yi-ri (KIA), Choi Ji-min (KIA), Kim Young-gyu (NC), and Choi Seung-yong (Doosan). Lee’s selection stands out. Lee had been cut from the national team just before the Hangzhou Asian Games. At the time, the Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA) Performance Enhancement Committee and the KBO Power Enhancement Committee announced the change, explaining that “Lee was recovering from a finger injury, but it was determined that he would not be able to perform at his best during the tournament.” Ryu Joong-il, who would go on to lead the team to the APBC, commented on Lee’s exclusion at the time, saying, “I’m sorry that we fell short at the end. I saw that he had a blister on his finger. He was supposed to pitch one game against Taiwan and Japan, but I was worried about whether he could pitch more than 70 pitches as a starter with this blister. Since he’s a starter, I didn’t think he could throw more than 80 pitches, so I decided to replace him.” Lee has been a mainstay in the KIA starting lineup this season, going 11-7 with a 3.96 ERA.메이저사이트
There are three catchers on the roster. Kim Dong-hun of the Kiwoom Heroes, Kim Hyung-jun of the NC Dinos, and Son Sung-bin of the Lotte Giants. Among them, Kim stands out. He was named to the APBC squad following the Asian Games. Most notably, he has been playing well in the ongoing semi-playoffs against SSG Landers, hitting a home run in Game 2. Most importantly, he has been recognized for leading the NC mound with stable leads in big games. Adding to the excitement is Son Seong-bin, a third-year pro and 2021 first-round pick. This season, Son is batting .263 with one home run, 15 RBI, 13 runs scored, and an OPS of .624.
There are six infielders. Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom), who captained the team at the Hangzhou Asian Games, Kim Hui-jip (Kiwoom), Moon Bo-kyung (LG), Kim Do-young (KIA), Kim Joo-won (NC), and Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha) were selected. Of the four, Noh has now established himself as one of the mainstays of the national team and is expected to make an even bigger impact. This season, Noh hit .298 with 31 home runs, 101 RBIs, 85 runs scored, and an OPS of .929 to win his first career home run title. Noh, who joined Hanwha in 2019, is now in his fifth year as a professional and had a career-high season.
There were five outfielders in total. Choi Ji-hoon (SSG), Kang Baek-ho (KT), Kim Sung-yoon (Samsung), Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte), and Park Seung-gyu (Sangsung). Yoon had previously been selected to replace Lee Yi-ri, who was eliminated, as the team needed a specialized outfielder and right-handed hitter. Yoon appeared in 107 games this season, batting .287 with two home runs, 41 RBIs, 45 runs scored, and an OPS of .687.
In terms of clubs, KIA had the most players among the 10 teams with four. Kiwoom, NC, and Lotte followed with three, while SSG, LG, KT, Samsung, Doosan, and Hanwha each had two. Only one CEO, Park Seung-gyu, made the roster.
A total of 20 players were named to the preliminary roster. There are nine pitchers and 11 outfielders. Park Myung-geun (LG), Son Dong-hyun (KT), Kim Si-hoon (NC), Shin Min-hyuk (NC), Cho Byung-hyun (Commerce) and Kim Tae-kyung (Commerce) were selected as right-handed pitchers, while Yoon Young-chul (KIA), Lee Seung-hyun (Samsung) and Lee Byung-heon (Doosan) were selected as left-handers. Han Jun-soo (KIA) and Heo In-seo (Commerce) were selected as catchers, Jeon Eui-san (SSG), Kim Ji-chan (Samsung), Ahn Jae-seok (Doosan), Moon Hyun-bin (Hanwha), Han Tae-yang (Commerce), and Na Seung-yeop (Commerce) as infielders, and Kim Hyun-joon (Samsung), Ko Seung-min (Lotte), and Kim Dae-rae (Doosan) as outfielders. By team, there were five managing directors, three from Samsung and Doosan, two from KIA and NC, and one each from SSG, LG, KT, Lotte, and Hanwha.
In the previous edition, Korea finished as the runner-up with a record of 2 wins and 2 losses. In the final game against Japan in the first edition of the tournament, Korea held on for a single run through four innings, but faltered with three runs in the fifth inning and eventually lost 0-7. Kim Ha-seong (San Diego), Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), Koo Ja-uk (Samsung), Park Min-woo (NC), Park Se-woong (Lotte), Koo Chang-mo (NC), and Ham Deok-ju (LG), who were the mainstays of the national team at the time, are now playing for their respective teams and have become the face of Korean baseball. Since the APBC, Korea’s competitiveness in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) has grown.
The team will continue to be led by Ryu Jung-il. “The APBC is a tournament for players aged 24 or younger or within their third year of playing, and it was deemed appropriate to appoint Ryu as the national team manager in terms of continuity following the Asian Games,” the KBO said in a statement. According to Japanese media on April 24, Ryu said, “(Korean baseball) won the gold medal at the Asian Games and succeeded in changing the generation. The roster for the APBC includes about two-thirds of the players who represented Korea at the Asian Games. We are determined to win the APBC with all our might.” Liu added, “The No. 4 batsman has to play a role at crucial times. “In the APBC, it will be Noh Si-hwan who will play the No. 4 role,” said Liu. We are looking forward to seeing his long bat.”
The APBC 2023 will feature South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. The team will open the tournament on Nov. 16 at noon against Australia, followed by the fateful Korea-Japan game at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17. They will then face Chinese Taipei on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. for the third game. After three days of full league play, the team will play the third-place game or the final game on the final day of the tournament, depending on the results of the preliminary rounds.
Unsurprisingly, South Korea’s goal at the APBC is to win the tournament. In July, the KBO announced a long-term project in response to the national team’s poor performance at the WBC, saying, “We will raise the level of the league and the national team together as the team’s power and performance are not up to the standard of baseball fans.” Based on this, the plan is to build the strength of Korean baseball by strengthening the competitiveness of the national team. Luckily, it’s off to a good start, as the team won the last Asian Games and will now look to do well at the APBC. From there, the team will look to the Premier12 in 2024, the WBC in 2026, and eventually the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Furthermore, Korea is coming off a disastrous first-round exit at the 2023 WBC in March at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. The APBC is a great opportunity to avenge that loss in the heart of the Japanese archipelago. It will be interesting to see how the Korean baseball team, which is in the midst of a generational change, will perform at the APBC.