It’s the all-time pitcher draft! Rookie makes a hot mound from the exhibition game

It was April last year. At the end of the Shinsegae E-Mart Cup, the national high school baseball championship, most of the professional scouts smiled brightly while looking at the mound. The 2024 rookie draft could be one of the best ever. Some scouts predicted the nomination of all pitchers in the first round.퀸알바

The results were similar. Nine out of 10 drafted players in the first round held in September last year were pitchers. Jeon, who was picked as the third overall pick in the first round, concurrently worked as both a pitcher and a batter at Kyungpook National High School, but now he is a pitcher at Lotte. Excluding Park Ji-hwan, who was the 10th overall pick at the end of the first round, the first round was filled with pitchers.

As such, pitchers had good resources. Left-handed pitcher Hwang Joon-seo (Hanwha), who was selected for the youth national team since their second year of high school, and right-handed pitcher Kim Taek-yeon (Doosan), who showed off strength at the World Youth Championships, boasted outstanding potential that was hard to tell the difference between superior and inferior.

If Jeon Mi-ri, Yuk Sun-yeop, Kim Hui-gun, Cho Dae-hyun and Won Won Won-hyun were among the top four draft picks in the first round, there were many right-handed pitchers who could be picked in the first round. Kiwoom, which had two first-round picks, also called out right-handed pitchers Jeon Joon-pyo and Kim Yoon-ha.

And they are making strong first impressions on the professional stage one by one. The start was Kim Taek-yeon. He was highly praised by coach Lee Seung-yeop enough to enter the closing candidate group during the camp period, and was in charge of the ninth inning in the first exhibition game on the 9th. He took the mound with a four-run lead against Kiwoom and completed the team’s victory with a fastball-oriented power pitching. It was Kim Taek-yeon’s first appearance, which could mean a lot, although no saves were recorded. Kiwoom Jeon Joon-pyo also took the mound against Doosan on the same day. He took the mound as the second pitcher and gave up 0.2 innings.

On the 10th, KT Won Won Won-hyun started. Against the defending champion LG, he struck out five in three innings and allowed no runs. He made a strong first impression with a sharp curve with a maximum speed of 150 kilometers. After the game, Won Won Won-hyun said, “I looked for Taek-yeon (Kim) and Jun-pyo (Former) throwing, and it stimulated me a lot. I want to compete happily with all my friends who came into the professional together.”

Hwang Joon-seo, the No. 1 overall pick, also started in front of a packed crowd on Thursday. He became a losing pitcher by allowing one run in three innings, but proved that his fastball and crystal ball splitter that penetrates into the body based on right-handed hitters can work well on the professional stage.

Rookie pitchers continued to display stellar pitching on Tuesday as well. After a day off, Kim took the mound again. He garnered a save to achieve a 3-0 win in the match against Lotte in Sajik. Jeon also gave no run in the first inning. Although he is not a top-ranked candidate, two LG rookie pitchers also displayed good pitching in their first appearances on the professional stage. Jin Woo-young, who was nominated in the fourth round against Samsung in Daegu, pitched in the fourth inning, and Jeong Ji-heon, who was nominated in the sixth round, pitched in the eighth inning, and gave no run in the first inning. After playing in the second-tier camp, Jeong joined the first-tier Korean pro team on the recommendation of his coaches, and left a good impression on him.

Only when the pitcher is strong can the batter’s skills improve and the level of the game rise. New pitchers who have consistently boasted outstanding ball power have been transfused over the past few years, and they are expected to peak this year. A new wind blows hard on the mound. KBO league competitiveness can also be improved.

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