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13.2 billion jackpot and the national team, the test bed for ‘the next Gwang Hyeon-jong’… “I’ll prove it”

“I think it’s a season where I have to prove myself.”

NC Dinos left-handed ace Koo Chang-mo (26) once again embraced the Taegeuk mark he longed for. Koo Chang-mo was named among the 30 finalists for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) announced on the 4th. Five left-handed pitchers were selected, including Koo Chang-mo, Kim Gwang-hyeon (35, SSG Landers), Yang Hyeon-jong (35), Lee Eui-ri (21, above KIA Tigers), and Kim Yun-shik (23, LG Twins).

Early on, Koo Chang-mo raised expectations as the next national left-handed ace to succeed Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong. 2020 saw him play only half of the season due to injury, but he showed promise, posting 9 wins in 15 games, 93⅓ innings pitched, and an earned run average of 1.74. Last year, he continued his good performance, recording 11 wins in 19 games, 111⅔ innings, and an earned run average of 2.10.

NC promoted a non-FA multi-year contract this winter to tie up Chang-mo Koo, who has grown into the best ace in the team. Considering the fact that the timing of obtaining FA qualification for Koo Chang-mo differs depending on the performance of the 2023 international competition, it is divided into two cases. If you qualify for FA after the 2024 season, you will receive a total of 12.5 billion won for 6 years from 2023 to 2028, and if you do not qualify for FA, you will receive a total of 13.2 billion won for 6+1 years from 2023 to 2029.

Even after a large contract, an unquenchable thirst remained. Taegeuk mark. After being selected as the APBC representative in 2017, Koo Chang-mo had no relationship with the national team for more than five years. In 2019, the WBSC Premier 12 boarded the national team and returned the Taegeuk mark due to back pain, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held in 2021 could not even be dreamed of due to rehabilitation due to microfracture of the forearm muscle. So, I eagerly hoped to join the WBC team this time.

In an interview with Sporty News after the announcement of the final entry, Gu Chang-mo said, “I always had an opportunity, but I didn’t take it. This time, it’s really good to be in the entry until the end. I think the first step is to show a good performance,” he said.

It is a great honor to wear the national team uniform at the same time as Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong, who have always been mentioned as role models. Gu Chang-mo said, “I have never played baseball with the two of you. I think we should play a tournament while learning a lot from the side and asking questions while working together. I don’t think this opportunity will come easily.”

His shoulders felt quite heavy when he wore the Taegeuk mark. Gu Chang-mo said, “I always imagined throwing the ball to a player from another country 안전놀이터. I think I’m a little closer to that dream. I also want to be evaluated by players from other countries and do well. I want to prepare well,” he said vigorously.

There are 15 pitchers in the national team, most of them young players in their early 20s. Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong are the most senior, followed by Lee Yong-chan (34, NC), Ko Young-pyo (32, kt Wiz), and Kim Won-joong (30, Lotte Giants). Right after Kim Won-joong is Gu Chang-mo.

Regarding this, Chang-mo Koo said, “There seem to be a lot of young players, but I’m the first national representative since 2017, so I think it will be very awkward. Among the young players, I want to hear advice from players with national team experience. International competitions are different, so I think I need to ask a lot.”

Yang Eui-ji (36, Doosan Bears), a veteran national team member, is a great source of strength. Yang Eui-ji has been working with Gu Chang-mo while playing four seasons in NC since 2019 before transferring to Doosan as a free agent this winter.

Koo Chang-mo showed strong faith, “When (Yang) Eui-ji transferred to Doosan and contacted him, he said that he would ask for it if he played a battery in the WBC. We have been working well with him since NC, so I think I can trust him and throw it.” .

Following his large-scale contract, he greeted the new year with a stronger determination by wearing the Taegeuk mark. Koo Chang-mo said, “Last year, the club offered me a good contract. I think it’s a season where I have to prove myself. I will prepare well and show a game that will not disappoint the national team or the regular season.”

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