Major league table setter Lee Kang-cheol-ho sets the table.
Head coach Lee Kang-cheol of the WBC national team recently returned home from a business trip to Australia and revealed that he had several plans related to the national team. It was not specifically mentioned, but in the big picture, it should be seen as a step to consider the operating policy of 15 pitchers, the position of the fielders, and the batting order.
Manager Lee revealed his intention to virtually destroy the position of pitchers because the WBC has a pitch limit. However, the use and operation of the beasts were relatively veiled. The most certain thing at this point is to use Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) and Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals) as the keystone combination.
However, it is an atmosphere where the weight of Kim Ha-seong and Edmund may unexpectedly increase. Looking at the national team’s fielders, there are plenty of candidates for the cleanup trio at #3-5, but relatively few cards for the table setter.
▲WBC national team infielders (15)
Infielders – Choi Jeong (SSG), Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom), Oh Ji-hwan (LG), Park Byung-ho, Kang Baek-ho (above KT), Kim Ha-seong (San Diego), Tommy Edman (St. Louis), Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh)
Outfielders – Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom), Kim Hyeon-soo, Park Hae-min (LG), Na Seong-beom (KIA), Park Gun-woo (NC)
Catchers – Lee Ji-young (Kiwoom), Yang Eui-ji (Doosan)
Aside from the unconfirmed decision of Choi Ji-man’s boarding, if the lineup is composed of this member, Kim Hye-seong, Kim Ha-seong, Edmund, and Park Hae-min are the only players who could be included in the table setter. However, Kim Hye-seong is realistically likely to serve as the central infield backup and pitcher, and Park Hae-min should also be seen as a card that goes back and forth between the starting pitcher and backup.
As in the Tokyo Olympics two years ago, Park Hae-min should be the starting center fielder considering the defensive power. The outfield defense is the best in the country. Park Hae-min is the most suitable hitter as a table setter in this national team. His experience is also rich. However, given his offense, he has the potential to be Lee Jung-hoo’s starting center fielder. In this case, there is a high possibility that Park Hae-min will be left out of the starting lineup. 스포츠토토
If so, there is a possibility that Edmon or Kim Ha-sung will go into 1 or 2 more. Edmund entered the leadoff in 87 games in the 2022 season. His performance was a batting average of 0.255 OPS and 0.671. As the second hitter, he recorded a batting average of 0.365 OPS and 0.831 in 14 games.
Kim Ha-seong was in the center of the batting line during Kiwoom, but in San Diego for the past two years, he was mainly in the lower batting order. However, he did occasionally step out as a leadoff. 0.242 OPS 0.740 in 17 games. In the end, a picture is drawn of Edmund or Park Hae-min taking the lead off. In the second batting order, manager Lee Kang-cheol seems to be worried. Kim Ha-seong is enough to run with ‘Strong No. 2’.
There are many candidates for No. 3 to 5, including Jung-hoo Lee, Byeong-ho Park, Jeong Choi, Hyun-soo Kim, and Seong-beom Na. We cannot rule out the possibility that Lee Jung-hoo, who has frequently hit number 3 lately, can enter the lead-off or number 2 batting order as in the early days of his debut. Kim Hyun-soo also played as the second hitter when he was younger.
Basically, the lineup will vary slightly depending on the opponent. You should also look at the condition and data of the day. It remains to be seen how coach Lee Kang-chul will draw up the lineup in a big way, especially how he will create a table setter combination that should create synergy with the center lineup. Over the past few years, KT has generally not been a style that greatly shakes the batting order.