Only 3 in 41 Years…’High School Graduate All-Stars’ Challenge Park Myung-geun and Kim Min-seok

LG Twins’ Park Myung-geun (19) and Lotte Giants’ Kim Min-seok (19) will challenge for an honor that has been bestowed on only three people since the inception of the KBO.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) on Monday unveiled 120 candidates for the 2023 Shinhan Bank Throwdown KBO All-Star Game.

Among them, Park Myung-geun and Kim Min-seok are the only two high school rookies who made their KBO debut this year. Park Myung-geun was included in the Nanum All-Star Middle Pitcher category and Kim Min-seok in the Dream All-Star Outfielder category.안전놀이터

There have only been three other times in history that high school rookies have been named to the All-Star team in their first year.

Ahn Chi-hong (Lotte) was the first to be honored in 2009 while still a member of the KIA Tigers, followed by Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) in 2017. In 2019, Jeong Woo-young (LG) earned All-Star Best 12 honors in his first year in the league.

Including coach’s picks, there have only been nine times a rookie fresh out of high school has been named an All-Star.

Selected with the 27th pick in the third round of the 2023 KBO Draft, Park quickly established himself in the KBO.

Through 23 appearances, he has a 1-0 record, four holds, five saves, and a 2.61 ERA in 23 games. Park Myung-geun, who filled in for injured closer Ko Woo-seok, really made his mark last month with a salty 0.82 ERA in 12 games.

Kim Min-seok has been the most prominent of the rookie arms this year. Called up by Lotte with the third pick in the first round of the 2023 Rookie Draft, Kim hasn’t left the first team since opening day.

In 40 games, he’s batting .250 with one home run, 14 RBIs, and eight stolen bases. Last month, he hit .286.

With Park Myung-geun and Kim Min-seok performing above expectations, both teams are cruising.

After an unexpectedly shaky start to the season, LG rallied to take the lead while Park supported his back. Lotte, which has failed to make it to fall baseball for five straight years, has also made a splash this year and is in contention for the top spot.

Both LG and Lotte are among the most popular clubs in the KBO, so Park Myung-geun and Kim Min-seok are likely to receive overwhelming fan support.

Fan voting will run for 21 days, from May 5 to 25. The final Best 12 will be determined by combining 70 percent of the fan votes cast over the three-week period and 30 percent of the votes cast by KBO players themselves.

This year’s All-Star Game will be held at Sajik Stadium on March 15.


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