Defending Olympic baseball champ Korea announces Tokyo 2020 roster, includes eight rookies

Manager Kim Kyung-moon, who led Korea to the Olympic gold medal in 2008, said that he considered players’ current form above all else while also taking into account the overall balance of the roster

Defending Olympic baseball champions Korea today announced their 24-man roster for the Tokyo 2020 Games, which is filled with the biggest stars from the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), the country’s top professional league.

In selecting the national team roster, manager Kim Kyung-moon told reporters that he went with the players who are currently performing the best in KBO, while also taking into account the overall balance of the roster.

“It’s not going to be an easy tournament, but we’ll put our national pride on the line,” Kim said. “Our people have been going through so much with the pandemic, and we want to give them something to cheer about.”

PITCHERS (10): Choi Won-joon (Doosan Bears), Ko Young-pyo (KT Wiz), Go Woo-suk (LG Twins), Cho Sang-woo (Kiwoom Heroes), Han Hyun-hee (Kiwoom Heroes), Park Se-woong (Lotte Giants), Won Tae-in (Samsung Lions), Kim Min-woo (Hanwha Eagles), Cha Woo-chan (LG Twins), Lee Eui-lee (Kia Tigers)

CATCHERS (2): Yang Eui-ji (NC Dinos), Kang Min-ho (Samsung Lions)

INFIELDERS (8): Kang Baek-ho (KT Wiz), Oh Jae-il (Samsung Lions), Park Min-woo (NC Dinos), Choi Joo-hwan (SSG Landers), Heo Kyoung-min (Doosan Bears), Hwang Jae-gyun (KT Wiz), Oh Ji-hwan (LG Twins), Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom Heroes)

OUTFIELDERS: (4) Park Kun-woo (Doosan Bears), Kim Hyun-soo (LG Twins), Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes), Park Hae-min (Samsung Lions)

Manager Kim chose 10 players who helped Korea finish second at the WBSC Premier12 2019, including star outfielder Hyun-soo Kim, who was the 2015 Premier12 MVP.

Only three pitchers from the 2019 Premier12, relievers Go Woo-suk, Cho Sang-woo and Cha Woo-chan are back. The staff includes five rookies. First baseman Oh Jae-il, second baseman Choi Joo-hwan and shortstop Kim Hye-seong will also make their National Team debut.

Kim left out of the roster former Major League Baseball (MLB) stars Shin-soo Choo and Seing-hwan Oh, both 39. Cho has hit so far 10 home runs for the SSG Landers, while Oh is leading the KBO in saves.

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