332 MLB players, only 7 former MVPs… What is the point of watching ‘All-Stars’ WBC? [S story]

March’s ‘Spring Baseball’ will be interesting to baseball fans who missed the smell of grass at the Diamond Grounds because they only heard about players’ transfers and contracts during the Stove League this winter. This is because the international baseball event, which has been cut off since the spread of the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19), is unfolding after a long time. It is the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). After the 4th tournament in 2017, the 5th tournament scheduled to be held in 2021 was postponed due to Corona 19, and the WBC returned after 6 years.메이저사이트

◆ Country of Participation and Superstar Participation

Some may ask, is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics baseball, which was revived as an Olympic event 12 years after Beijing 2008, an international baseball event held during the Corona 19 phase? (Actually, the Tokyo Olympics was postponed for a year due to Corona 19 and opened in 2021) From the conclusion, it is ‘NO’. In Tokyo 2020, there were only 6 baseball participating countries, and only Japan, the host country, and Korea, which were aiming for a second consecutive victory as the ‘defending champion’, were the only ones who did their best to build a team. The U.S. team consisted mainly of minor leaguers and prospects.

So, if you want to see a match between the best baseball players in the world, watching the WBC is the answer. The WBC, which was first established in 2006, is managed by the US Major League Baseball (MLB) Secretariat and the Players Association, and is the only international baseball tournament in which major leaguers participate on a large scale. MLB allows only WBC selection for key players included in the 26-man roster. There is also the Premier 12 hosted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), but WBSC has a lot of influence in the Japanese baseball world, and the MLB Secretariat has a 40-man roster that includes prospects and players on the border between major and minor leagues, let alone a 26-man roster. Players are not allowed to participate, so major leaguers rarely participate.

The 2023 WBC, held for the first time in six years, is expected to be different in quantity and quality from the previous four tournaments. First of all, the number of participating countries was further expanded from 16 to 20. In addition, a large number of superstars were mobilized, with only 7 former major league MVPs out of a total of 600 players. There are 67 players who have been selected as all-stars, and 186 players are included in the 40-man roster of major league clubs. Including players with major league contract status, a total of 332 major league players will participate. This means that more than half of all participating players are players who play on the best stage.

In fact, even in the early days of the WBC, a large proportion of superstars did not participate. The World Cup in soccer is attended by all the best players, but in baseball, the image of the United States as the world’s best is already large, so it is true that the WBC did not have a great advantage enough to risk injury to superstars who received annual salaries of tens of billions of dollars. In the 2006 WBC, which was just one tournament, big names such as Alex Rodriguez, the best hitter and MVP award winner at the time, Chipper Jones (1999 NL MVP), and Ken Griffey Jr. (1997 AL MVP) appeared, but after that, star players Their participation was limited.

However, the 2023 WBC overlapped with the MLB Secretariat’s active participation encouragement under the slogan of globalization of baseball, and superstars expressed their intention to participate directly. This is why you must watch this WBC.

◆ Who is the superstar representing each country?

It is possible to realize that the status of the 2023 WBC has changed from before just by this player’s participation. The main character is Mike Trout (32, LA Angels), the best hitter in active life who is playing for the US national team, the “defending champion” as the winner of the 4th tournament. Trout, who debuted in the major leagues in 2011 and entered the ranks of superstars with a batting average of 0.326, 30 homers, 83 RBIs and 49 steals in the second year season, won only MVP three times (2014, 2016, 2019) in 12 seasons until 2022.

The true value of Trout, who has a career record of 350 homers, 896 RBIs, and 204 stolen bases, is revealed in his ratio stats and sabermatrix stats. With a career batting average of 0.304, Trout’s career OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) is 1.002. For 12 seasons, the league’s top hitters have maintained an OPS of 10%, which is difficult to record even in one season of their lives. In addition, the cumulative WAR (contribution to victory against substitute players) was 82.4 (baseball reference standard), ranking 60th in his career even though he is still in his early 30s. His wRC+ (adjusted scoring ability) is 172, which is 6th overall. The weight of the hit line of the U.S. national team led by Trout is evaluated as the best among 20 countries.

One of the superstars against Trout is Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels), who is famous for his two-handed two-handed two-hander. Coincidentally, the two players are colleagues at the LA Angels. Ohtani, who played five seasons in Japanese professional baseball and moved to the big leagues in 2018, made a splendid debut by winning the rookie of the year, but struggled with injuries in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, he was unable to pitch even one inning as a pitcher.

But in 2021, after his injuries have cleared up, Ohtani has reigned supreme in his major league career. As a hitter, he recorded 46 home runs and 100 RBIs, and as a pitcher, he recorded 9 wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 3.18 with a fastball at 160 km/h. Last season, he recorded 34 homers and 95 RBIs as a hitter and 15 wins and 9 losses with a 2.33 ERA as a pitcher. After Babe Ruth, he stood tall again as the best player by achieving various records such as 10 wins – 10 home runs in 104 years, the first 15 wins – 30 home runs in major league history, and the simultaneous achievement of regulation innings + regulation at bats. With 62 home runs, he came in second in the MVP vote behind Aaron Judge (New York Yankees), who recorded the most home runs in a single season in the American League. If it wasn’t for me, 2 MVP wins in a row would have been possible.

Ohtani also serves as both pitcher and hitter in this WBC. Ahead of the 2022 season, the major leagues established the so-called”Ohtani Rule”, which allows the game to continue as a designated hitter even if the starting pitcher is disqualified. , It is expected that we will be able to see him hit a home run as well. Japan, which achieved two consecutive WBC titles in 2006 and 2009, will challenge Ohtani to win its first WBC title in 14 years.

Korea’s leading star against Trout and Ohtani is Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom), who conquered the domestic stage by winning the KBO league MVP last season. Lee Jung-hoo’s father, LG coach Lee Jong-beom, played a key role in the 2006 WBC semifinal legend and was selected as the best 9 as a left fielder. With Lee Jung-hoo participating in the WBC this time, it is the first time among Korean players that a father and son competed in the WBC.

Lee Jung-hoo, who boasts a sophisticated batting average of 0.342 in his 6 seasons in the KBO League, is aiming to enter the US Major League after this season. Even in the US, people are paying attention to Lee Jung-hoo’s star quality. In evaluating the WBC Korean team, MLB.com said, “There are several major league players, and the most famous players are Tommy Edmon of St. Louis and Ha-seong Kim of San Diego.” It is Lee Jung-hoo, the KBO MVP. Lee Jung-hoo can take Korea from Group B to the next stage, which means that we can see him on the biggest stage, the United States.”

Lee Jung-hoo, MLB.com selected Lee Jung-hoo as an outfield all-star among 600 players participating in the WBC finals, along with former major league MVPs Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. Recently, ‘Baseball America (BA),’ an American prospect evaluation media, recently picked Lee Jung-hoo among 10 WBC players who have yet to advance to the major leagues, and Lee Jung-hoo ranked them in fourth place. He was the highest ranked among Korean players.

◆ The Korean national team, looking forward to the semifinals again after 14 years,

the WBC is a tournament that brings joy and frustration to Korean baseball at the same time. In the first tournament in 2006, he caught Japan twice in the process of winning six games, causing a national syndrome, and reached the semifinals, but lost to Japan in the semifinals. In the second tournament in 2009, they reached the final by beating Venezuela in the semifinals, but lost to Japan after 10 overtime matches and took second place. Although they failed to win in both competitions, they proved that Korean baseball can thrive on the world stage.

On the other hand, the WBC in 2013 and 2017 did not even get past the first round of the finals. In the 3rd tournament in 2013, they won 2 wins and 1 loss in the group stage, but failed to advance to the second round due to a 0-5 loss to the Netherlands, which was the first match, and was pushed to third place in the group by goal difference. The 4th tournament in 2017 was held at Gocheok Dome, the home of the first round of the finals, and it was a tournament with high expectations. However, after losing 1-2 in the first match against Israel, and also losing 0-5 in the second match against the Netherlands, it was decided to be eliminated in the second round early.

The WBC national team is eager to avenge the past two ‘Taichung Disaster’ and ‘Gocheok Dome Disaster’. First of all, the group composition with Australia, Japan, China and the Czech Republic is evaluated as good.

The key to advancing to the quarterfinals depends on the first game against Australia. Assuming that China and the Czech Republic, which are far less powerful, are defeated, it is calculated that even if they lose to Japan, which is at the top level in terms of power, they can advance to the quarterfinals by winning 3 wins and 1 loss and finishing second in the group.

Overseas betting companies are predicting Korea’s winning odds from 4th to 7th. In other words, it is evaluated that advancing to the quarterfinals will be easy. Points Bet, an American sports betting company, recently introduced the winning odds of the 20 countries participating in the WBC, and Korea was ranked fourth along with Venezuela at +1000. ‘+1000’ corresponds to 10 times the odds. This means that if you bet 10,000 won and hit, you will receive 100,000 won, which is 10 times higher. The Dominican Republic was organized as the team with the highest probability of winning with an odds of ‘+250’. The United States followed with ‘+275’, and Japan came in third with ‘+300’. Australia’s dividend rate, which is considered a watershed for advancing to the quarterfinals, was expected to be in the lower ranks at ‘+15,000’.

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