Following their 2-1 loss to Israel, South Korea vs Netherlands will be Game 3 of Pool A of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. It will be the first game for the Dutch who now look to put Korea in a deep hole that they might not be able to get out of.
South Korea, ranked no. 3 in the world, will turn to right-handed Kyu-min Woo of the Samsung Lions to shut down the potent Dutch lineup. Woo pitched last year with the LG Twins of the KBO where he went 6-11 with a 4.91 ERA. And he will have a tough task against a solid lineup.
While the Netherlands will put a lot of experience on the mound, its strength will be in its lineup, especially its infield. However, going for the Netherlands against South Korea will be former KBO pitcher Rick van den Hurk. He pitched for the Samsung Lions for two seasons going a combined 20-13 including 13-4 in 2014. The past two seasons van den Hurk has been pitching in Japan where he has had continued success going a combined 16-3.
Players to Watch
Hyun-wook Choi – He has been slumping in warm up games and thus did not get the start in Game 1. However, his big left-handed bat could come into play so look for him to get the start.
Dae-ho Lee – He can get hot and carry a team and right now his team needs someone to be that spark. He was robbed of extra bases by Sam Fuld in Game 1, look for him to get his bat going and give South Korea some thunder it is badly needing.
Didi Gregorius – There is so much talent in the infield for the Netherlands. However, Didi is one of the few left-handed hitters and this I feel will come into play against the sidewinding Woo.
Jurickson Profar – Again Profar will start the game from the left side of the plate. A switch-hitter, Profar has shown more power over the years from the left side of the plate.
Game time is 4:30 am ET and can be seen on MLB Network or MLB.TV (US only).
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.