Before Lee Ui-ri appeared, it was ‘post-Yang Hyun-jong’… The ‘Canberra Dream’ of the ‘23-year-old left-hander who was not scratched by KIA’

Posted on 28 October 2023 by

 Before Lee Ui-ri appeared, it was post-Yang Hyun-jong. However, things are not going well enough for him to have to pass the title on to his juniors. He finally leaves to study in Australia.

The KIA Tigers mound is a left-handed kingdom. All three native starters (Yang Hyun-jong, Lee Ui-ri, and Yoon Young-cheol) are left-handers. In addition to the existing one-point agent Lee Jun-young, the bullpen also developed a special bullpen player named Choi Ji-min. Submarines Kim Dae-yu and Kwak Do-gyu, who have different arm heights, are also left-handers.

There is one left-hander forgotten here. Kim Ki-hoon, the first nominee in 2019. He joined the team brilliantly after graduating from Gwangju Dongseong High School, and was a promising player to the point where he could be called the post-Yang Hyun-jong. However, he doesn’t bounce as much as he thinks. In 75 first-team games, 5 wins, 10 losses, 1 hold, and an average ERA of 5.10.

When he could not find a position for two years after joining the company, he boldly applied for the position of managing director. He completed his military service, and made a surprising performance by joining the first team as a bullpen at the end of the 2022 season. No record in 5 games, ERA 1.04. There was no ups and downs in pitch control, which had been a chronic problem, and

the game-changing strategy that Sangmu modified from pitching form seemed to be working. It wasn’t. The 5th game was still an insufficient sample. We had high expectations while preparing for this season, but as we lost our good pitching balance, our command fluctuated throughout the season.

2 wins in 29 games, ERA 4.60. In the race for the 5th starting spot, he was pushed out early on by rookie Yoon Young-cheol, and in the bullpen, he was pushed out again with the emergence of Choi Ji-min and Lim Ki-young. After preparing again in the 2nd team, he returned to the 1st team, but his pitching content was a little less consistent.

According to the baseball statistics website Stats, the average fastball speed is 143.9 km. This is a case where there was a clear increase from 139.2km in the 2020 season, but it did not lead to improved performance. Considering that he is a left-hander, his speed is competitive enough. In the end, command and breaking ball quality are the hot topics.

On the 27th, KIA announced that it would send five players to the Canberra Cavaliers of the Australian Professional Baseball League. As Geelong Korea disappeared from the league and an alternative was sought, general manager Shim Jae-hak directly negotiated with Canberra. One of the players included in this list is Kim Ki-hoon.스포츠토토

This part clearly shows the level of expectations of the club. There is still a need to be patient until Kim Ki-hoon develops into a key first-team pitcher. He is senior to Lee Ui-ri and Yoon Young-cheol, who have already established themselves as the 1st or 2nd ranked post Yang Hyun-jong in the first team. However, Kim Ki-hoon is also still 23 years old.

In fact, KIA’s starting lineup and bullpen lineup for the 2024 season can be seen to some extent. I don’t know where or how Kim Ki-hoon will dig in, but with this level of speed and potential, it makes sense to somehow develop him into a major pitcher. Just a year ago, Choi Ji-min’s baseball life changed when he studied abroad in Australia. This time it’s Kim Ki-hoon’s turn. There is a need to feel and learn a lot while studying abroad in Australia.



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