Kim Do-young and Moon Dong-joo finally meet after Lee’s selection… APBC entry confirmed, but could it change?
Going into the 2022 season, Kia’s biggest concerns weren’t on the field. It was the future. Two of the best talents in the region had popped up at once. The team struggled to decide between Moon Dong-joo (20), a right-hander who could throw a fastball over 150 kilometers per hour, and Kim Do-young (20), who was so talented that he was described as the “next Lee Jong-beom.” The team had to prioritize one or the other.
They could only prioritize one of them, and in the end, KIA chose Kim Do-young because they felt they needed him a little more depending on the team’s situation and future plans. Moon ended up in the arms of Hanwha, who, as expected, had the first overall pick at the national level. Since then, the two players have developed quite the rivalry that has kept KBO fans intrigued. There’s no doubt that both players are the next big thing in the KBO.
Moon warmed up last year by pitching 28⅔ innings in 13 games for the first team. Hanwha had a plan to systematically develop Moon, who threw a lot of pitches in high school, and he was able to take the steps in a calm manner. This year, he was in the starting rotation in earnest. He pitched 118⅔ innings in 23 games, finishing the season with an 8-8 record and a 3.72 ERA. His hard-hitting pitches in the mid-to-high 150 kilometers per hour (km/h) range were highly anticipated by fans.
Moon proudly wore the Korean flag at the recently concluded Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, where he was the team’s ace, starting the most important games and contributing to the gold medal. He pitched well in the most important game of the tournament, the final against Chinese Taipei, and made a strong impression. His team, Hanwha, finished in last place again, leaving a lot to be desired, but at least there was no question that Moon was developing into the future ace of the league.
High school rookies usually make their mark as pitchers first, rather than beasts. However, Kim Do-young has consistently gotten his chance and has become one of the most sought-after pitching prospects in the league. After playing 103 games in the first team last year, Do-young was one of the most improved players in the offseason, and KIA had high hopes for him. Although he suffered a metatarsal fracture in the season-opening series and had to undergo a lengthy rehabilitation, he came back strong and is now an integral part of the team.
Despite being limited to just 84 games this year due to injury, Kim has racked up 103 hits. Despite the lack of plate appearances, he hit .303 with seven home runs, 47 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases. He proved the expectations that he could be a 3B with 20+ HR and 40+ stolen bases if he develops well were not wrong.
These two players are now meeting on the national team. It’s the first time they’ve eaten together. Unlike Moon Dong-ju’s trip to Hangzhou, Kim Do-young, who was on the reserve list, didn’t make a strong case for a spot on the final roster after spending the early and mid-season injured. He was considered a potential replacement due to his good performance at the end of the season, but he didn’t make the team.
However, both players have been named to the roster for the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC), which begins on November 15 in Tokyo, Japan. The APBC is a tournament for players under the age of 24 and in their third year of professional baseball. Given their performances this season, their inclusion was expected. The two players have fought against each other in high school and then in the pros, but they haven’t had much head-to-head experience, and now they have one goal: to win a championship for their national team.
On April 24, the KBO finalized the 26-man roster for the APBC, including the two players. There is a significant overlap between the qualification criteria for Hangzhou and this tournament, so many of the young stars who competed in Hangzhou will be traveling to Tokyo. South Korea finished runner-up to Japan at the 2017 tournament, but the general consensus is that they are in better shape now than they were then. The roster is full of young players who have already achieved quite a bit in the league. This time, they are determined to win the title and continue the momentum from the Hangzhou gold medal.
In addition to Moon Dong-ju, who is considered a right-handed ace, the starting pitchers are Won Tae-in (Samsung) and Kwak Bin (Doosan). On the left-hand side, Lee Yi-ri (KIA), who was controversially dropped from the team at the Hangzhou Asian Games, is back and Oh Won-seok (SSG) is a new addition. In the bullpen, Jung Woo-young (LG), Park Young-hyun (KT), Choi Ji-min (KIA), and Kim Young-gyu (NC) were recalled from the Asian Games, while Jung Hae-young (KIA), Choi Jun-yong (Lotte), and Choi Seung-yong (Doosan) were added.
In the outfield, Kim Hyung-jun (NC) and Kim Dong-heon (Kiwoom), who were away at the Asian Games, were joined by Son Sung-bin (Lotte). In the infield, Kim Do-young and Kim Hwi-jip (Kiwoom) join Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom), Moon Bo-kyung (LG), Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), and Kim Joo-won (NC) as they reunite after the Hangzhou gold medal.
In the outfield, Park Seung-kyu is a new addition to Choi Ji-hoon (SSG), Kang Baek-ho (KT), Kim Sung-yoon (Samsung), and Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte). Park joined the Sangsang this year after being drafted in the 9th round (82nd overall) by Samsung in 2019. In 74 games in the Futures League this year, he batted .253 with four home runs, 46 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases. He got a chance to get an early look at fans before he was discharged from the military.
However, we don’t know if this entry will last. The KBO postseason is in full swing. The APBC team will convene on November 5 and play training and exhibition games at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu from November 6-13, before departing for Japan on November 14. However, the Korean Series is currently scheduled to end on November 15 if it goes to Game 7. We don’t know when the Korean Series will end or what the bracket will look like. 토토사이트
In fact, it’s unlikely that the players who play in the Korean Series will be able to join the national team right away. This is especially true if the Korean Series goes longer than six games. For this reason, the KBO said, “Depending on the postseason schedule, there will be changes in the number of participants in the call-up training. The final roster may also be adjusted depending on the schedule of the Korean Series.”
So, in addition to the 26-man final roster, the KBO also announced a 20-man preliminary roster. Right-handed pitchers included Park Myung-geun (LG), Son Dong-hyun (KT), Kim Si-hoon Shin Min-hyuk (NC), and Cho Byung-hyun Kim Tae-kyung (Sangsung). Left-handed pitchers included Yoon Young-chul (KIA), Lee Seung-hyun (Samsung) and Lee Byung-heon (Doosan). Catchers Han Jun-soo (KIA) and Heo In-seo (CEO), infielders Jeon Eui-san (SSG), Kim Ji-chan (Samsung), Ahn Jae-seok (Doosan), Moon Hyun-bin (Hanwha), and Han Tae-young Na Seung-yeop (CEO), and outfielders Kim Hyun-joon (Samsung), Ko Seung-min (Lotte), and Kim Dae-hyun (Doosan) will be available from the reserve roster.
For now, LG is headed straight to the Korean Series. Jung Woo-young Moon’s participation is somewhat unclear. There could be a void in the right field and infield. If KT, the second-place team in the regular season, makes it through the playoffs and reaches the Korean Series, Young-hyun Park and Kang Baek-ho could also be out. NC, a semi-playoff favorite, also has Kim Young-gyu and Kim Joo-won. In the end, there could be as many as four roster changes. That’s why you need to pay attention to the reserve roster.