KIA coach Kim Jong-guk said that three players compete for the 5th starter at the time of the Arizona camp. Sidearm Lim Ki-young (30), who previously served as the 5th starter, left-hander Yoon Young-cheol (19), who is highly anticipated as a first-rounder in the 2023 rookie draft, and left-hander Kim Ki-hoon (23), who showed impressive pitching after being discharged last year, are the protagonists.
It was expected that each of them would compete with each other on different strengths. Lim Ki-young had the performance and experience of constantly reviewing the starting rotation. If Yun Young-chul’s unmatched game management ability and command were his strengths, Kim Ki-hoon’s charm was that he could throw a ball with power in the mid-140 km/h range as a left-hander.
In 2019, KIA’s first nominee, Kim Ki-hoon, was evaluated for his significantly improved skills in the Armed Forces Sports Unit (Sangmu). After being discharged from the military last year, he pitched 8⅔ innings in 5 games for the 1st team and had an average ERA of 1.04. However, for now, the focus is on the bullpen. Coach Kim Jong-guk also admitted that “I think we need to put more weight on the bullpen and finish our preparations” ahead of the Gwangju SSG game (exhibition game) canceled due to rain on the 23rd.
Even if you have good skills and talent, what you need in competition is performance. It can be interpreted that the fact that he could not throw his ball 100% in the Okinawa practice game and that the pace at the beginning of the demonstration game was not very good. It’s a step where his condition is gradually improving, but it’s not up to the pitch he showed last year. There are outside opinions that the lightness of the arm swing of pitching and pitching is not as good as when it was in its prime. Director Kim also said, “It seems that the speed and condition have not improved.” 메이저놀이터
However, he does not deny that the player worked hard and prepared for the season with sincerity. It is acknowledged that there is something to be acknowledged, and it is expected that the effort will be helpful for future development. Director Kim defended, saying, “I think I prepared, studied, and prepared to improve,” and said, “Because I was thinking about preparing for the selection, the process of preparing in that area may be different. He thinks he should focus on the bullpen now.”
Personally, it may be a disappointing result, but it is a resource with a bright future as I am still young and have completed my military service. It is very rare that the 5th starting spot rotates fixedly for all 10 teams throughout the season. If you can improve your condition and throw only your own ball, opportunities can open up at any time. As much as he can become a key player in the idea of the KIA mound, he is now at the starting line, not at the end.