Various diagnoses are pouring out over the results of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) of the Korean national baseball team, which ended in the ‘disaster’ of being eliminated in the first round three times in a row.
One of the problems pointed out by many experts is the use of wooden bats in high school baseball.
Korean high school baseball players, who used aluminum bats until 2003, have been using wooden bats since 2004 in accordance with the revised rules of the International Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).
It is argued that making a good bat with a wooden bat, which is heavier than an aluminum bat, requires accurate hitting skills, but for this purpose, the big shot does not come out well because of the swing that only cares about contact.
This story makes sense in that successors to players in their mid-30s, such as Park Byeong-ho (37, kt wiz) and Choi Jeong (36, SSG Landers), who represent the KBO League, are rarely seen.
However, at least looking at this tournament, it can be confirmed that the international competitiveness of Korean batters is not severely diminished.
Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes), the best hitter in the KBO league, had a batting theory that it was important to make a strong hitting ball.
Even ahead of this WBC, he revealed his goal of “making as many quick hits as possible and not striking out at the same time.”
As such, an important virtue for hitters is to produce strong batted balls.
Looking at the WBC Group B group stage alone, the average batting speed of Korean batters was 88.8 miles per hour (about 143 km), not much different from Japan, which ranked first in the group with 90.6 miles per hour (about 146 km).
Australia, which advanced to the quarterfinals as second place in the group by beating Korea, was 86.2 miles per hour (about 139 km), followed by the Czech Republic at 84.5 miles per hour (about 136 km) and China at 80.1 miles per hour (about 129 km).
Excluding the match against China, which ranked last in Group B, the gap between Korea and Japan’s average batting speed actually narrowed.
Excluding the match against China, where they won 22-2 and set the record for the highest score difference and the highest score in the WBC, the average batting speed of the Korean national team goes up to 90.8 miles per hour (about 146 km).
This is because there were two bunt hits against China, so the average exit velocity suffered.
It is only 0.2 miles per hour different from the average hitting speed of 91 miles per hour (about 146 km) in the group stage of Japan, excluding the match against China.
To put it simply, there is no big difference in batting speed with Japan, which has a monster player named Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels).
Of course, fast batting speed does not guarantee results.
Proper launch angle and good luck lead to good results.
However, the faster the ball hit, the more likely it is to break through the defense and lead to a hit.
According to ‘Baseball Savant’, a website specializing in MLB baseball records, the batting average of batting balls over 100 miles per hour (about 161 km) in the major leagues last year was 0.568.
From 90 miles per hour (about 145 km) to 99 miles (about 159 km), the batting average drops to 0.285, and from 80 miles (about 129 km) to 89 miles (about 143 km), the batting average goes down to 0.197.
Even though the performance against China, which won a cold game, was included, Korea’s WBC team batting average was 0.336, still ranked first among 20 countries.
At least, it can be confirmed that the reason for the slump in this tournament cannot be attributed to the silence of the other line and the use of wooden bats.
The result of systematic strength training, launch angle, and major league-style swing that seeks to improve hitting speed was revealed.스포츠토토
However, it is worth paying attention to the argument that the use of wooden bats is an obstacle to pitcher development.
Commentator Ahn Gyung-hyeon commented, “If you use an aluminum bat in high school baseball (even if it hits a little, it will lead to a hit), you can improve pitcher control.”