Infielder Curtis Mead (23), who is from Australia and is included in the 40-man roster of the American professional baseball Tampa Bay Rays, was virtually unsuccessful in participating in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
It is a good news for Korea, which will play the first match of Group B in the first round of the WBC against Australia.
The Tampa Bay Times reported on the 22nd (Korean time) that “Mead will not participate in the WBC and will concentrate on the Tampa Bay spring camp.”
Mead jumped into the adult stage in the 온라인바카라 2017-2018 season in the Australian Professional Baseball League, and signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies of the American Professional Baseball in 2018.
Mid, traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in November 2019, went up to Triple A in the minor leagues in 2022.
Last year’s Double-A and Triple-A performances were 0.298 batting average, 0.390 on-base percentage, 0.532 slugging percentage, 13 home runs, and 50 RBIs in 76 games.
Since he is aiming to enter the big leagues and ended the season a little early due to elbow pain in August last year, participating in the WBC held in March this year may be burdensome for Mid.
Meade, an infielder with talent enough to be evaluated as the second best prospect in the Tampa Bay team last year, is good news for Korea.
Korea will play its first WBC match against Australia at Tokyo Dome, Japan on March 9, followed by Japan on the 10th, the Czech Republic on the 12th, and China on the 13th.
1st or 2nd place in Group B advances to the quarterfinals.
The first goal of the Korean team, led by coach Lee Kang-cheol, is to advance to the quarterfinals.
Considering Group B, the results of the first match against Australia are very important.
If Korea defeats Australia, it will be very advantageous to secure second place in Group B, and it will be able to do its best against Japan, the strongest group in Group B.
In Australia, Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendricks (34) was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, making it impossible to join the WBC.
Major League prospect Reed also decided to focus on his team’s spring camp, making it inevitable for the Australian national team to weaken.
Australia is expected to build a national team centered on players from its own league, such as Warwick Soupold, who played under the registered name ‘Supold’ for the Hanwha Eagles in the KBO League.