Despite some of the best players from South Korea taking this WBC off, the expectations are still very high for the 2009 runner-up.
Major Leaguers Choo Shin-soo and now Ryu Hyun-jin who recently signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers have decided to sit out to prepare for the 2013 MLB season.
That doesn’t mean that the 2013 team won’t be without experience or talent.
Back is veteran Lee Seung-yeop who starred in the 2006 tournament hitting 5 home runs. He will provide veteran leadership and a powerful bat at first base. Also back is from the 2009 squad is two-time KBO triple crown winner Lee Dae-ho who will provide power in the middle of the lineup.
One of the hitting starts of the 2009 squad Kim Tae-kyun will return as well. In 2009, Kim hit .345 with 3 home runs, and a team best 11 RBI for the runner-ups.
The Kia Tigers pitcher Yoon Suk-min is back as well. In 2009, Yoon pitched in 5 games (2 starts) going 2-0 with an ERA of 1.13 in 16 innings. Also on the pitching staff is former New York Met Seo Jae who has been pitching with the Kia Tigers of the KBO in recent years.
The team will open the 2013 Classic in Taiwan facing off with host Taiwan, Australia, and The Netherlands with the top two teams in the pool advancing to the second round in Tokyo.
2013 WBC Korea Preliminary Roster
Woo Jun Chang
Kyung Eun Noh
Seung Hwan Oh