SSG Landers Choo Shin-soo was caught up in a story.
It is because of his beliefs that he recently revealed in an interview with a Korean radio station in Texas, USA. Choo Shin-soo made a statement about Woo-jin An, who was excluded from the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team due to controversy over school violence, that he was being treated unreasonably. He also added the opinion that baseball seniors should step up for An Woo-jin.
Choo Shin-soo revealed his personal thoughts, but it is said that there are not a few types of senior and junior players and leaders who run the field who have the same thoughts as Choo Shin-soo. However, Choo Shin-soo touched a kind of ‘yeokrin’. He said that it was not easy for him to forgive public opinion. An Woo-jin was on the cutting board of public opinion again, and his forgiveness was farther away.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Ahn Woo-jin is a fireballer who appeared for the first time in Korean baseball history, that is, a pitcher who throws balls freely in the mid-to-late 150km range. Numerous fastball pitchers disappeared, but there was no starting pitcher who combined speed, control, and durability like Ahn Woo-jin.
Of course, there is no possibility that he will end up with a ‘sparkle’ in one season, but most experts predict that he will reign as an ace representing the KBO league for more than 10 years. His innate physicality and flexible pitching form predict a long run. Former national team coach Kim In-sik also predicted that Ahn Woo-jin will grow into a pitcher who will represent KBO history in an interview for the first publication of this magazine in March 2019.
Last year, An Woo-jin’s fastball restraint was a maximum of 157.5 km and an average of 153.4 km. Converted to the mile method, they are 97.9 miles and 95.3 miles, respectively. Even in the major leagues, where the average velocity of all pitchers last year was 93.9 mph, it is a speed that ranks in the top 25%.
Fangraph, which specializes in major league statistics, ranked An Woo-jin as 13th overall and 4th as a pitcher in the 2023 international prospect rankings in Korea, Japan, and Latin America. Excluding Japanese pitcher Senga Godai, who joined the New York Mets this time, he is third after Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Rocky Sasaki. Major League Baseball is paying close attention.
However, the point at which Ahn Woo-jin can freely fly to the United States is shown after the 2028 season when he turns 29 years old. Ahn Woo-jin completed 3 full-time seasons by last year, and the 7th season, which requires club permission, will not be met until the end of 2026. Here he remains in his military service. This is because, according to the Korea Sports Council rules following the Korea Baseball Softball Association’s three-year suspension, he is permanently banned from participating in the Olympics, Asian Games, and Premier 12, so he cannot expect military service benefits. If he has it in his heart, this is the best scenario for Ahn Woo-jin to advance to the major leagues. 바카라사이트
However, in order to be able to select the national team, the Korea Baseball Softball Association must cancel the disciplinary action or file a disciplinary invalidation lawsuit and win the case. However, both are very difficult in reality. Public opinion is further aggravated by this incident.
In this WBC national team, there are many aces who throw around 100 mph fastballs. In Japan, which we will meet in Group B right now, Loki Sasaki, Shohei Ohtani, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto throw up a 100-mile fastball. Dominican Republic’s Sandy Alcantara, USA’s Nathan Ibaldi, Venezuela’s Pablo Lopez, as well as the Cuban national team’s pitchers, have many pitchers who spread fast balls. Regardless of the East and the West, speed is the best weapon.
The Korean national team’s mound is dominated by the fact that the new and old are harmonious, but the rotation that still relies on Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong seems likely. Small-Jun So-Jun, Eui-Ri Lee, Tae-In Won, and Chang-Mo Koo are cited as starting pitchers for the “Young Gun”, but it is difficult to compare their speed with other aces.
When will we see a Korean national team pitcher who can throw fastballs as much as he wants? For now, we have no choice but to hope that Kiwoom Heroes Jang Jae-young, Hanwha Eagles Moon Dong-ju, and Pittsburgh Pirates Shim Jun-seok will grow.