With the announcement of the 30-man entry for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), the joys and sorrows of the players as well as the 10 clubs were mixed. The KIA Tigers, who advanced to the wild card match in 5th place last year, were selected for the WBC team by pitchers Hyeon-jong Yang and Eui-ri Lee, and outfielder Seong-beom Na. 

KIA closer Jung Hae-young, who had a lot of expectations, did not make it to the WBC national team. The entry for the WBC national team was very similar to the entry for Team Korea in the canceled MLB World Tour, which was scheduled to be held last November. 

Jung Hae-young was not listed in the final entry of ‘Team Korea’, so observations were made that it would not be easy to get on the WBC national team, but in the end, it turned out to be correct. Jung Hae-young, who had never been selected for the national team after his professional debut, had a golden opportunity to board the national team and eat together with prominent players and gain valuable experience.

Jung Hae-young, who joined the KIA as the first nomination in 2020, climbed to third place in the league save rankings for two consecutive years with 34 saves in 2021 and 32 saves in 2022, and climbed to the 30 save high. This is the reason why Jung Hae-young’s failure to qualify for the WBC national team, a finisher proven in the KBO League, remains regrettable.

However, a cold-hearted analysis of why Jeong Hae-young failed to make it to the WBC team should serve as a source of nourishment for his growth. Jung Hae-young’s average speed of fastballs was 144.0 km/h in 2021 and 144.6 km/h in 2022, which was a standstill.

Compared to other team’s closers who use fastballs of 150 km/h or faster, Jeong Hae-young’s average fastball speed was empty. It was true that there were still questions about whether Jung Hae-young would be able to compete with opponent batters with strength and press them down with fastballs in the WBC.

Jung Hae-young’s main weapon is a slider, but it is not a breaking ball with a large angle that falls like a forkball. Therefore, Jung Hae-young’s average strikeout per 9 innings was 6.75 in 2021 and 6.91 in 2022, which did not exceed 7.0. If you are a finishing pitcher, you desperately need the ability to strike out a batter without allowing a runner to hit the mound in a crisis situation. 

Jung Hae-young had a lot of fly balls 토토사이트 as the ratio of ground balls to fly balls was 0.89, lower than the league average of 1.07. If Jeong Hae-young, whose fastball velocity and sharpness of his breaking ball had been somewhat lacking, participated in the WBC, he would not have been able to avoid the burden of allowing long hits. 

In the case of bullpen pitchers, the WBC national team formed an entry in consideration of overwhelming speed, forkball attachment, or ground ball induction ability. In other words, it can be said that the type of inducing strikeouts or avoiding long hits was very important. This is the part where we can infer why Jung Hae-young could not board the WBC national team.

Jung Hae-young, born in August 2001, is a 21-year-old young gun who is entering his 4th year as a professional and 3rd year full-time finisher this year. In the future, it has enough potential to win the title of the king of saves by increasing fastball speed and installing an overwhelming breaking ball. 

If Jung Hae-young continues the same save march this year as last year, selection for the Hangzhou Asian Games team to be held in September could become a reality. Let’s pay attention to whether Jung Hae-young will grow into a finisher representing Korean baseball through steady growth in the future.

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