The out-of-the-field competition 메이저사이트 between the two players of the same age, ‘Korea and Japan Two Icons’, is heating up the heat for the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which is approaching in three weeks.
Recently, MLB.com selected the best players by position for players participating in the WBC. In the 2022 season, KBO League Most Valuable Player (MVP) Lee Jeong-hoo was named one of the three outfielders along with Major League (MLB) superstars Mike Trout (LA Angels) and Mookie Betts (LA Dodgers).
Korea’s ‘nemesis’ Shohei Ohtani (Angels) was named as a two-way player in the Japanese national team. It was Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes) that caught my eye. He was pushed out by 2022 MLB National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara (Miami Marlins), but was named as a candidate (honorable mention).
On the 15th (Korean time), in the list of ‘The 50 Most Interesting People in the Agu World’ announced by the New York Post, Lee Jung-hoo and Yamamoto were ranked 14th. The media introduced that the two players have risen to the MVP of the Korean and Japanese professional baseball leagues, respectively, will compete in the WBC in March, and will challenge the MLB after the 2023 season. The picture was posted of Lee Jung-hoo’s match, and the introduction of the player had a little more Yamamoto. The New York Post has previously detailed the strengths of the two players.
The two players are the same age, born in 1998. Side by side, they stepped on the elite course and rose to become the best players. Lee Jung-hoo won five batting crowns (hits, batting average, RBIs, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage) in the 2022 season. Yamamoto won the Sawamura Award for two consecutive years (2021-2022), winning four pitcher crowns (most wins, win rate, strikeouts, and ERA). The Sawamura Award is an award given to the best pitcher in the league.
The relationship between the two players is also deep. They faced off in the finals of the Premier 12 competition held in December 2019 and the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021. In the Premier 12, Lee Jung-hoo was completely defeated. Yamamoto, who came out as a setup man in the 8th inning, struck out three pitches and withdrew. Later, before the Tokyo Olympics, Lee Jung-hoo directly mentioned Yamamoto’s name and said, “He was a really good pitcher. I remember all the pitches (strikeouts). If we meet again, I want to win.” The rematch took place in the semifinals, and Lee Jung-hoo hit a right-handed double in the first inning match against Yamamoto, who was the starting pitcher. He struck out in the fourth, but hit to right on a full count in the third of the sixth inning.
Korea and Japan will face off on the 10th of next month in Group B of the first round of the WBC. Prospects for starting pitchers in the Korean War have been pouring in from Japanese media, but nothing has been confirmed yet. Ohtani, Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres), Rocky Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marlins), and all players with starting duties, including Yamamoto, are on alert.
In this situation, Lee Jung-hoo and Yamamoto are receiving the attention of the American media every day. In the over-the-counter match, it was impossible to distinguish between superiority and inferiority. Yamamoto is being recognized for his much greater potential than Senda Kodai (New York Mets), who entered the big leagues in the Stove League this winter. The same goes for Lee Jung-hoo, who became a customer of Boras Corporation, led by ‘Super Agent’ Scott Boras. The prevailing prospect is that he will exceed the contract size (5 years, 90 million dollars) that Japanese hitter Masataka Yoshida signed with the Boston Red Sox.
Attention is focusing on whether a rematch between the two prospective big leaguers, who will be showcased at the most prestigious baseball international competition (WBC), will be held.