By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, March 02 (Yonhap) — South Korea will have a dream midfielder at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) starting next week, with two of Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) top defensemen patrolling from each side of the second base bag.
At second base will be Tommy Edman of the St. Louis Cardinals, winner of the 2021 National League Golden Glove and runner-up for the job last year. The half-Korean star will play for her mother’s native country for the first time.
Kim Ha Seong of the San Diego Padres will be the shortstop, fresh off a second MLB campaign in which he was a Gold Glove finalist in that position.
The duo finally had their first practice together on Thursday at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. They missed national team training camp in Tucson, Ariz., due to club commitments, but after arriving here on Wednesday, they were straight into action some 24 hours later.
The first part of Thursday’s practice was held behind closed doors, and by the time the media were allowed into the dome, Kim and Edman were at batting practice.
To hear Kim tell it, her first day with Edman couldn’t have gone better.
“He’s such a great player and he’s really fast,” Kim said. “I found it comfortable and easy to play defense next to him.”
On paper, Kim and Edman should give South Korea one of the best defensive interiors in the tournament. And Kim said he wanted to live up to the pre-WBC hype.
“Hopefully Edman and I will help out our pitchers and gobble up the ground balls,” Kim said. “That should take the pressure off our pitchers’ shoulders and give our team a better chance of winning.”
Before signing with the Padres ahead of the 2021 season, Kim spent seven years with the Kiwoom Heroes, who use Gocheok as their home. Thursday was kind of a homecoming for Kim.
“It was nice to be back on my old stomping ground,” Kim said with a smile. “I’m close to a lot of guys in the team, and it was also great to be able to speak in my own language on the pitch.”
#Gold #Glove #runnerup #comfortable #Gold #Glove #winner #South Korea #WBC #team
#Gold #Glove #runnerup #comfortable #Gold #Glove #winner #WBC #team #South #Korea
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