Lee Jeong-hoo vs. Sasaki ‘WBC Dream Matchup’ Group Stage Match Sasaki likely to start against Czech Republic￼
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With the opening of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) group stage approaching in two days, MLB.com selected Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) vs. Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines) as one of the expected ‘dream matchups’. Lee Jung-hoo was awarded the KBO league best player last season, and Sasaki recorded a perfect game in Nippon Professional Baseball.
On the 5th (Korean time), MLB.com introduced, “Lee Jung-hoo and Sasaki are international stars and prospective big leaguers.” “Lee Jung-hoo was selected as the MVP of the KBO League last year with a batting average of 0.349, 23 homers, and 113 RBIs.”
After the 2023 season, Lee Jung-hoo aims to enter the major leagues through posting (private competitive bidding).
Sasaki is already one of the best pitchers in Japan, and his main weapon is a fast ball with a maximum speed of 102 miles per hour (about 164 km).
However, it is unlikely to see the two players face-to-face in the group stage.
According to Japanese media, Sasaki is expected to start against the Czech Republic on the 11th.
On the evening of the 4th, Sasaki showed off a fastball with a maximum speed of 165km (102.5 miles) in a practice game against Chunichi Dragons at the Banderin Dome in Nagoya, Japan.
165 km per hour is the highest speed and tie record in Japanese professional baseball recorded by Shohei Otani (29, Los Angeles Angels) in 2016 when he was a Nippon Ham Fighters. 안전놀이터
On this day, Sasaki struck out 3 in 3 innings against Chunichi, allowed 2 walks and 1 infield hit, and kept the scoreless.
After the match, Sasaki said, “It was my last appearance before the WBC tournament, so I focused on throwing well. I didn’t pay much attention to speed, but I was satisfied with the pitching.”
Lee Jung-hoo, who will be the third hitter for the Korean national team, has been working on improving his batting form throughout the winter in preparation for advancing to the big leagues.
At the arrivals hall on the 1st, Lee Jung-hoo said, “If you want to hit the ball of a major league pitcher (at the WBC), you must not fall out of the group round and quarterfinals.” I want to hit the ball,” he said.
He continued, “I know that the match against Australia (the first match) is the most important in order to do that. I will definitely win and show a great performance in the match against Korea and Japan.”
Meanwhile, the group stage match between Korea and Japan will be held at Tokyo Dome at 7:00 pm on the 10th.
With the opening of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) group stage approaching in two days, MLB.com selected Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) vs. Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines) as one of the expected ‘dream matchups’. Lee Jung-hoo was awarded the KBO league best player last season, and Sasaki recorded a perfect game in Nippon Professional Baseball. On…