Three KBO clubs team up to ‘nurture prospects’.
The Doosan Bears, Hanwha Eagles, and Samsung Lions will participate in the Phoenix League in Miyazaki, Japan in early October.
The Phoenix League has been held at the end of the regular season to help prospective players improve their skills. In South Korea, it is more commonly known as the Education League. It was founded in 2004 and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Participation in the league was an annual event for the three teams. Doosan has been participating since 2006, while Hanwha has been sending players since 2009. When the LG Twins, who had participated since 2010, withdrew from the league in 2016, Samsung picked up the slack and joined in 2017.
The three teams continued to participate until 2019. In 2020, however, Korean teams were put on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic restricted entry into the country.
This year, the three clubs returned to the league.
Japan is represented by a total of 14 teams. It consists of 12 teams from the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), a selection team from the Shikoku Island League Plus, an independent Japanese league, and a selection team from the Japan Independent League Baseball Organization. To ensure a steady schedule with no off days, an even number of teams had to be selected, leaving two open spots for KBO teams.
The three teams had to work together to fill the two spots, and they settled on a combined team.
While the KBO Futures have sent a combined team to the Asia Winter Baseball (AWB) in Taiwan from 2013-2019 (excluding 2014), this is the first time that several KBO clubs have formed a combined team to travel to Japan. In a similar case, KIA and SK (now SSG) participated in the Arizona Instructional League as a combined team in 2014.
The teams were divided into ‘Korea 1’ and ‘Korea 2’. Two alliances of 30 players per team will be formed by selecting 20 players from each club. Samsung will be split between Doosan and Hanwha, with Doosan and Hanwha on each side. As the season is still underway, the players have not been finalized.
The first team will be led by Doosan. There will be 20 Doosan players and 10 Samsung players on the team. The second team will be made up of 20 Hanwha Eagles players and 10 Samsung players.
A total of 18 games are scheduled for the training league. There will be three rounds of four games with one day off, followed by two rounds of three games with one day off.
The first games will be on October 9 against the Rakuten Eagles at Ikime Second Stadium and the Yakult Swallows at Saito Stadium. The tournament will be held for a total of 22 days until October 30.
Despite the fact that the cost of traveling to games is nearly double what it was before the pandemic, including the rising cost of airline tickets, there are high hopes for the resumption of the education league.
As one club official said, “Japan is said to have promising players, but the level of players is basically high. It will be a good experience and stimulation for young players.”
In addition to the rookies, there will also be players in need of rebuilding. “We will have Ha Joo-seok participate in the education league,” Hanwha head coach Choi Won-ho said before the team’s match against Samsung in Daejeon on March 23.
The Australian Baseball League (ABL) announced today that Geelong Korea has been suspended for the 2023-2024 season. For the young prospect, it’s an unfortunate end to a great opportunity to gain experience and develop against international players.
That’s why the Miyazaki Education League is getting more attention.
In 2019, then-rookie Noh Shi-hwan (Hanwha) impressed with four home runs in one game against the Rakuten Golden Eagles. He now leads the KBO in home runs with 29 this season. 토토사이트
With the return of KBO clubs to the Education League, a developmental stage for prospects, expectations for the next Noh are high.