As seen by the 2019 ERA (4.01), it was difficult to say that he was a highly complete pitcher until then. Instead, there was a fastball that easily shot 150 kilometers per hour. I thought I would be a better pitcher if I polished it well. I didn’t bring in a foreign ace, but it was awesome. Alcantara pitched 198 ⅔ innings in 31 games in 2020, winning 20-2 with a 2.54 ERA, sweeping the Choi Dong-won Award and Golden Glove.
It was a problem even if I did too well. Japanese professional baseball teams, who are always interested in the best foreign players on the Korean stage, rushed in. When Hanshin offered a two-year contract, Doosan had no time to hold out. The estimated annual salary for two years alone was $4 million. It was a difficult race for Doosan to follow. In the end, Doosan had to watch Alcantara leave.
Doosan, which heard that Alcantara’s contract with Hanshin was over, rushed its steps again as it did three years ago. He attempted to re-introduce Alcantara, and Alcantara, who was hurt a lot in Japan, gladly held Doosan’s hand. It was contracted for a total of $900,000. He did not care about some evaluations, saying, “Although there is a performance in Korea, there is a concern of a decline due to poor performance in the last two years.”
The results are awesome again. As of the 19th, Alcantara has re-entered as one of the best foreign pitchers in the league, throwing 171 ⅓ innings in 27 games with 13 wins, 6 losses and a 2.36 ERA. Still throwing fast balls, still eating a lot of innings faithfully. In 27 games, he has 21 quality starts (more than 6 innings and less than 3 earned runs). Except in April, the beginning of the season, Alcantara never pitched less than five innings. 스포츠토토
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop thanked the team for not praising Alcantara. Alcantara held out when the team’s starting rotation was difficult at the beginning of the season, so the team was able to come so far without collapsing. Ahead of the match against KIA in Gwangju on the 18th, coach Lee said, “There was no injury at all and I never skipped the rotation. “There were times when I had a hard time due to the injury of foreign pitcher Dylan, so if Alcantara was out of the rotation or was sluggish, the team could have collapsed at once,” he said.
Coach Lee highly values Alcantara’s contribution to the team to the extent that Alcantara said he saved the team just before the team collapsed. Manager Lee said, “There are times when he throws seven to eight innings, and he is a pitcher who can throw more than six innings on average. “I’m a pitcher who can rest the rest of the players,” he said. “If I have time in the situation, I want to replace him quickly, but Alcantara will have a burden (in many innings). If you throw it without skipping, even the same speed can cause the power to drop at the end of the ball. These days, the ball seems to be hitting, but it can’t be helped. I am very grateful to Alcantara,” he said again.
Then, why did Alcantara, who performs so well, fail to shine in Japan. Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop, who is revered as the best player in KBO League history, conquered the Korean stage until 2003 and started to challenge Japan by signing a contract with Chiba Lotte in 2004. In 2006, he signed with Japan’s most prestigious Yomiuri Giants and enjoyed his prime time. This is a greeting that felt the difference between Korea and Japan and the level of the Korean-Japanese baseball league.
Coach Lee frankly admitted the difference in level. Coach Lee said, “Japan is having a hard time,” adding, “If you have a daily aspect and a pitching habit or a little weakness, you dig into it really well.” Perhaps the player also had a hard time,” he said. “Even these days, when we play games, we have small habits, and we are not lagging behind enough to find them and change them during the game,” he said. “There must have been a number of complex factors because the environment has changed and there are so many players in Japan.”
Japan won a complete victory over Korea at the World Baseball Classic (WBC), realizing the difference in level. It is the same as before and now that Japanese baseball played better than Korean baseball, but it is true that it became a game at the national team level from 2006 to 2010. However, in recent years, there are concerns that not only the gap has widened at the national team level, but also the league level continues to widen. We are also developing, but Japan is developing further.
In fact, foreign players who represented Korea, such as Jerry Sands, Mel Rojas Jr., and Angel Sanchez, who went to Japan around the same time as Alcantara, have a history of disappearing forlornly without making much progress in Japan. Of course, it is difficult to predict everything at once due to the problem of adaptation, but there is no doubt that it is time for the league as a whole to gather a little more strength for development.