“I am also a player who represented the country, but I don’t want to hear how such a kid can represent the country. That’s great.”
Doosan Bears right-hander Kwak Bin (24) is preparing for the new season. Kwak Bin, who was from the first nomination in 2018, raised the pace faster than any other year this year. As he was selected to represent the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in 2023, he wanted to do his best as he wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time in his life. Korea left a great regret that it was eliminated in the first round three times in a row following 2013 and 2017, and Kwak Bin took the mound in two games and recorded 4 hits, 4 hits, 3 strikeouts and 3 runs in 2 innings.
Looking back on his first international tournament in his life, Kwak Bin said, “I have no regrets. I threw my best to the best of my balls. I don’t think I’m at that level yet. I still lack things to beat Japanese hitters.” Even so, he said with strength, “I think I can do well if I refine and make it a little more.”
His debut match against Korea and Japan gave Kwak Bin a good stimulus. On the 10th, Kwak Bin took the mound with no runners at the end of the 5th inning, behind Japan 3-5, and faced 4 batters, giving up 2 hits and 1 run in ⅔ innings. The first hitter against his national team debut was Shohei Otani (29, LA Angels), MVP of this tournament and whom Kwak Bin usually identified as his role model. Kwak Bin allowed Ohtani to hit a superior double, so Korea could not prevent an additional run.
Kwak Bin confessed honestly, “The game against Japan was my first game, and I thought Japan had very good pitchers, but that wasn’t the case. It could be because the flow of the batter is good when playing against us, but there are many high-quality hitters.”
He added, “Ohtani was a player that I originally admired and was a role model. He was really cool. He was really good at doing things in the dugout for the team. Even when I was in a match, I got a double hit, but I think that’s my career.” .
Based on the experience of standing on the same stage with the world’s best players, including his role model Ohtani, he is trying to grow further. Kwak Bin now has to lead the starting lineup along with Raul Alcantara (31) and Choi Won-jun (29). Dylan Pyle (27), the 2nd starter, will not be able to pitch in the 1st team until April due to a bruised bone injury, so the rest of the starting lineup is desperately needed. 스포츠토토
As Kwak Bin was in charge of the bullpen at the WBC and failed to increase the number of pitches enough, he aims to pitch 80 pitches in the first game after the opening. His exhibition game was the first time he took the mound against the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon on the 24th and scored 3 scoreless innings. Kwak Bin will move to the Future Steam team and compete in the Mungyeong Sangmu match on the 29th. It is the last actual check-up according to the rotation schedule.
Regarding Gwak Bin’s preparation, Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “I’m not worried about his condition or pitch. My only concern is the number of pitches. I think 100 pitches from the start of the season will be difficult.”
Kwak Bin also said, “From the start, 100 pitches is impossible,” but promised to do his best to throw each ball. He said, “I think I gained confidence and pride as my career as the national team developed. It seems that I also gained a sense of responsibility. I don’t want to hear people say how such a kid can represent the country when he is a player who has represented the country. I think I have to go. I think good results will come out if I go slowly, without hesitation.