KBO league representative pitchers So-jun So, Ko Young-pyo (kt above), and Won Tae-in (Samsung) trained last winter in Florida, USA. Audrey Samer Despaine, who played for kt until last year, promised to invite her teammates to the United States, and kept that promise even when the contract renewal failed.
Florida is warm all year round. It is the perfect weather for athletes to do individual training during the cold winter. In addition, from mid-February, about half of the major league teams have spring training here. It is unusual for the players of the team to join the club on schedule after training in Florida.
Korean players also trained with many major league players, and among them, the biggest name was Sandy Alcantara (28, Miami), who won the National League Cy Young Award last year. Although he didn’t run into them directly often, he promised to “see you in Miami” with Joon So-young, who was named Alcantara.
Joon Sohn was scheduled to participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) as a member of the Korean national team and Alcantara as a member of the Dominican Republic. Miami is the venue for the main round and, most importantly, the semi-finals and finals. Korea had to go to the semifinals to go to Miami, and the two players parted ways after promising to meet again in Miami. But in the end, that didn’t happen.
South Korea and the Dominican Republic were each eliminated in the first round, becoming the biggest victims of the tournament. Korea in Group B, which received a relatively easy grouping, lost to Australia, followed by a complete defeat to Japan, and was thwarted from advancing to the second round. The Dominican Republic, which was the strongest candidate for the championship, also experienced the frustration of being eliminated in the first round, behind Venezuela and Puerto Rico in Group D.
Alcantara, a pitcher who was expected to be the ace of the Dominican Republic and also the basis for the evaluation of the strongest championship candidate, could not raise his head. He started his most important first game, against Venezuela, but failed to make the game with 5 hits and 3 runs, including one home run, in 3⅔ innings, eventually losing the game. The Dominican Republic, which lost here, could not overcome the burden and was eliminated. 메이저놀이터
Alcantara, who finished the tournament earlier than expected, is returning to his team and gaining strength again. In an exhibition game against Washington on the 19th (Korean time), he showed off his good pitching with 2 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts and no runs in 5⅔ innings. The condition of his fastball as well as the location of his breaking ball were relatively good. The dropout left a shock, but preparation for the season is preparation.
Alcantara, who made his major league debut in St. Louis in 2017, pitched 228⅔ innings in 32 games last year and finished 14-9 with a 2.28 ERA, ranking first in the National League Cy Young Award and 10th in MVP voting. In modern baseball, where the weight of the bullpen is increasing due to the division of labor of pitchers, it is evaluated that he revived the romance of starting pitchers by making only six complete pitches. Overcome the frustration of the previous season and challenge to win the Cy Young Award for the second year in a row.