Three big leaguers will represent Korea at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, with 2021 Gold Glove winner Tommy Edman of the St. Louis Cardinals joining Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres and Choi Ji-man of the Pittsburgh Pirates on the roster.
Four former MLB players also made the roster: Pitchers Kim Kwang-hyun, formerly of the Cardinals, and Yang Hyeon-jong, formerly of the Texas Rangers, infielder Park Byung-ho, formerly of the Minnesota Twins, and outfielder Kim Hyun-soo , who played for both the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies.
The seven star players lead the 30-man entry announced by national team manager Lee Kang-chul on Wednesday. The roster includes 15 pitchers, two catchers, eight infielders and five outfielders.
Edman, who has a Korean mother and an American father, will be the first half-Korean to represent Korea at the WBC. Unlike other major international tournaments, the World Baseball Softball Confederation allows players to represent the country of their parents’ birth, regardless of whether they are citizens there or not.
Edman, a versatile utility man capable of playing across the infield, is expected to be a crucial addition to the Korean lineup. Speaking to reporters after announcing the roster on Wednesday, manager Lee said he expects Edman and Kim Ha-seong to prove a particularly effective duo.
Alongside the three major leaguers, Choi Jung of the SSG Landers, Kim Hye-song of the Kiwoom Heroes, Oh Ji-hwan of the LG Twins and Park Byung-ho and Kang Baek-ho of the KT Wiz complete the infield.
The outfield unsurprisingly includes reigning KBO MVP Lee Jung-hoo of the Heroes alongside LG’s Kim Hyun-soo and Park Hae-min, the Kia Tigers’ Na Sung-bum and the NC Dinos’ Park Kun-woo.안전놀이터
The Doosan Bear’s Yang Eui-ji, the KBO’s most recognizable catcher, is likely to take the prime spot behind the plate, with Lee Ji-young of the Heroes in the No. 2 spots.
The pitchers break down into 10 right-handers and five southpaws, with Kim Kwang-hyun of the Landers and Yang of the Tigers joined by Kim Yun-sik of the Twins, Lee Eui-lee of the Tigers and Koo Chang-mo of the Dinos on the left-hand list.
The other pitchers are: Go Woo-suk and Jung Woo-young of the Twins, Ko Young-pyo and So Hyeong-jun of the Wiz, Lee Yong-chan of the Dinos, Won Tae-in of the Samsung Lions, Kim Won -jung and Park Se-woong of the Lotte Giants and Gwak Been and Jeong Cheol-won of the Bears.
Noticeably absent from the pitching roster is 2022 KBO ERA leader An Woo-jin of the Heroes, who was excluded from the roster due to controversy surrounding accusations that he bullied classmates during his high school days.
In terms of KBO representation, the Twins have the most players, at six, followed by the Wiz with four and the Heroes, Tigers, Dinos and Bears with three apiece. The reigning champion Landers and Giants each have two names on the list while the Lions have one.
The Hanwha Eagles are the only KBO team without a player in the entry.
There are 20 teams competing at the 2023 WBC in four groups of five, with the top two teams from each group advancing. Korea is in Pool B alongside Japan, Australia, China and the Czech Republic.