In a tournament marred by host nation maneuvering and WBSC inaction, the 31st World Youth Baseball Championship has produced two best players.
Kim Taek-yeon (Incheon High School) was selected as a pitcher, while Lee Sang-joon (Gyeonggi High School) was named to the BEST 12 as a designated hitter. The two excelled in the pitching and hitting departments, making them indispensable members of the national team.스포츠토토
In particular, Kim Taek-yeon’s performance was unrivaled. In six games and 16 innings pitched, Kim went 2-0 with one save, a 0.88 ERA, and a whopping 29 strikeouts. Even without Jang Hyun-seok (LA Dodgers) due to age restrictions, the national team’s right-handed ace was still a force to be reckoned with. His emotionless demeanor on the mound and the way he threw the ball proved those who said it was like watching the second coming of Oh Seung-hwan (Samsung) were not wrong.
It’s also worth mentioning the performance of Lee Sang-joon, who struggled with his bat throughout the weekend league and showed good hitting on the international stage. He played in every game, going 7-for-21 with four doubles and a .333 batting average, and was named to the Best 12. He alternated between designated hitter and catcher in the tournament.
The winning team, Japan, also had two Best 12 players. Pitcher Aoi Higashiona and second baseman Ren Ogata were selected. Both were the centerpieces of the two-hitter that led Japan to the title. Chinese Taipei was represented by pitcher Ko Ching-hsien and catcher Meng Chih-hu, both of whom have shown considerable power throughout the tournament.
Unlike last year, when the national team finished runner-up at the U-23 Championships and did not select a single Best 12, this year’s squad was made up of all the countries that advanced to the Super Round.