One of the fun things about this season is the taste of seeing rookies.
A fastball pitcher who challenges 160km, a left-handed pitcher who throws confidently even though he does not reach 140km, a small sidearm of 1m74 with a quick motion of less than 1 second, and a virtually one-pitch pitcher with a fastball rate of 80%. It’s nice to see him leave the Rookie of the Year competition and take his place in the team.
The most notable player is, of course, Hanwha Eagles Kim Seo-hyun. During his field training, he disappointed his fans due to the SNS controversy, but he apologized in tears and reflected on himself. Talent is real. In the first appearance of the 1st team, he surprised everyone by spraying a fast ball close to 160 km. He has an earned run average of 3.86 without a win or loss in six games.
There are pitchers who throw this fast, but there are also pitchers who have slow speed but catch seniors terrifyingly. This is KIA Tigers Yoon Young-cheol. Yoon Young-cheol, who is active as the 5th starter after winning the selection competition with his seniors, confidently throws a 139km fastball. Yun Young-cheol, who is said to be reminiscent of former Jang Won-sam with perfect control, did not lose at all even in face-to-face confrontations with NC Gu Chang-mo and Lotte Na Gyun-an.
On the 3rd, he met the Lotte Giants, who were on a 9-game winning streak, and recorded 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and 1 run in 5 innings, ending Lotte’s winning streak and reporting his first win in his debut.
Although he is short, there are rookies who expand their territory with strong mentality, outstanding fast ball and fast quick motion. That is LG’s Park Myung-geun. Park Myung-keun, who drew attention for the fact that coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop recommended him to the Asian Games national team during his Raon High school days last year, surprised fans again with an incredible quick motion of 0.97. And for two days on the 2nd and 3rd, he won the first win and first save of the season in the NC game, quickly establishing himself as LG’s undisputed bullpen.
메이저놀이터 He appeared in 13 games and recorded no runs in the last 9 consecutive games, continuing good pitching with 1 win, 1 save and 2 holds and an average ERA of 3.86.
SSG’s Song Young-jin is the person who sparked competition among the team’s starting lineup. He started as a substitute and then secured a permanent position. On the 26th, he won 2 wins in three starts, including a quality start of 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts and 3 runs (2 ERA) at LG Electronics, and his ERA is very good at 1.93. In particular, the part that caught his attention was the proportion of direct purchases. He threw 85 balls against LG on the 26th, and threw only 71 fastballs with a maximum distance of 149 km. His direct purchase rate reached a whopping 83.5%. He had 7 sliders, 4 forkballs and 3 curveballs, but he could almost be said to have thrown only a fastball. He can be said to be a one-pitch pitcher, but his fastball curves freely, creating a natural breaking ball effect. SSG also recently recruited a new foreign pitcher, bringing in as many as seven starting pitchers. Director Kim Won-hyung fell into happy troubles.
Among the hitters, it is difficult to express that they have risen, but Lotte Kim Min-seok and Hanhwa Moon Hyun-bin are showing good performances in confrontations with seniors.
Kim Min-seok, who was selected as the fastest among batters in the 3rd place in the first round, has a batting average of .246 (16 hits in 65 at-bats) and 7 RBIs in 21 games. He is evaluated as the ‘second Lee Jung-hoo’ in many ways, such as his transition from shortstop to outfielder and his batting style. Moon Hyun-bin, who was selected as the 11th overall pick in the second round, had great expectations as he recorded a batting average of 3.445 in the demonstration game. Coming into the regular season, he has a batting average of 2.5 and 7 RBI (14-for-65).
The sight of young young chicks who are not yet 20 years old proudly showing off their skills among their older brothers certainly brings a smile to the team and fans. How many of these players will survive in the first team until the end? Who will be the new rookie to emerge during the season? The KBO League is always waiting for the birth of a new star.