“(Kwak) Bin said he could go to the opening match (laughs).”
Choi Won-jun (29), the first starter in Korea for the Doosan Bears, gladly accepted the challenge from his junior, Kwak Bin (24). Both players are quickly picking up the pace from spring camp and are sweating hard to achieve their respective goals this season.
It is no exaggeration to say that Kwak Bin is the most ambitious of Doosan pitching staff. Because he was selected for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team and wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time in his life. Kwak Bin has been training intensely since winter to the extent that he used up all of his WBC official balls before moving to Australia. In the first bullpen pitching of the Australian spring camp held on the last two days, he recorded the highest speed of 146 km.
Maybe that’s why Gwakbin often expresses his confidence in Chanhan’s senior, Choi Wonjun. On the 8th, Choi Won-joon met with reporters at the Blacktown Baseball Stadium in Sydney, Australia and said, “Bin said that he could play the opening match this year. Are you okay?” and they said, “It’s okay.”
Choi Won-joon was the first domestic starter for two consecutive seasons in 2021 and 2022. In 2021, he had a career high season with 12 wins in 29 games, 158⅔ innings, and an average ERA of 3.30, but last year, he only had 8 wins, 165 innings, and an ERA of 3.60 in 30 games because his pace dropped sharply in the second half.
Kwak Bin has grown into a threat to Choi Won-joon, who had been slowing down last year. In the second half of last season, he achieved 5 wins, 66⅓ innings, and an average ERA of 2.98 in 11 games, fulfilling his dream of being selected for the national team. Choi Won-joon doesn’t think Kwak-bin’s playful provocation can feel like a joke.
Choi Won-joon laughed, saying, “You don’t know how to be afraid yet. It’s time for you to be confident. You’ll know it after a while.” I wonder if Bin can overcome the pressure.”
Choi Won-joon is rather pleased with Kwak-bin’s growth. He said, “Rather than stimulating, it is good to have competitors. Because we can create synergy and go together. I also want to do something good like that,” he expressed his sincerity.
Support continued for Kwak Bin, who will throw the ball for the country at the WBC to be held in March. Choi Won-joon said, “I just hope that you will continue to be fearless until (the tournament) is over. I also went to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021메이저놀이터, but it’s certainly not easy to represent my country and there are many really good players. Bin has always been a good ball player. When I saw it from the side, I really changed a lot. When I was young, I came to the pros with good talent, and I didn’t know how to do well, but when the pain (elbow surgery) came, I think I felt it a lot. They are trying to achieve it. It is not easy for juniors of that age to do so.
Choi Won-joon is giving great strength outside the stadium until Kwak Bin returns to Korea on the 12th for the WBC team training in Arizona, USA. This year, I am helping Kwak Bin with both mind and heart with the hope that he will grow into an ace-class pitcher.
Choi Won-joon said, “Bin-i decides what to eat the day before the rest day, and he always comes empty-handed (laughs).
Watching Kwak Bin preparing for the season hard, Choi Won-joon is also burning his will to revive this season. Choi Won-joon said, “I want to be selected for the national team again someday and do well. I regret not being able to do well at the Tokyo Olympics. If I have another chance, I want to do better. Coach Lee Seung-yeop told me about 13 wins this year. I don’t want any more. I said I would wear it, but I will try my best to win more.”