Young players of the KIA Tigers, who have gained valuable experience in the Australian Professional Baseball League (ABL), are predicting an active performance in the 2023 season.
Geelong Korea, a KBO league team, recently finished its third season in the ABL. Although he stayed in 7th place in the league with 13 wins and 27 losses in the regular season, he showed more solid power than the previous two seasons, recording the most wins in a single season, the most consecutive wins (4), and the most points in one game (23).
A large number of KBO League’s representative prospects, whose potential is recognized, such as Song Chan-eui (LG Twins) and Jang Jae-young (Kiwoom Heroes), played an active role. Young players were given the opportunity to broaden their knowledge by working together with Korean baseball legends, such as Lee Byeong-gyu, who was in charge of the command tower, and Koo Dae-seong, who returned to the mound as a player.
KIA, which dispatched its players for the first time to the 3rd Geelong Korea, also gained a lot. Left-handed pitcher Choi Ji-min (20), outfielder Kim Seok-hwan (24), and infielder Kim Kyu-seong (26) showed good performances. The three players are key players in strengthening the strength of each position.
Choi Ji-min pitched in 17 games and pitched 18 1/3 innings, recording an ERA of 1.47. He had the lowest ERA among pitchers in Geelong Korea. In the 2022 season KBO League, the maximum speed of the four-seam fastball (fastball), which was 144-145 km per hour, also rose to 148 km. Jang Jeong-seok, general manager of the KIA, who flew to Australia and saw Ji-min Choi’s pitching match, said he was satisfied with Ji-min Choi’s confident pitching and more diversified number fights. 카지노
Choi Ji-min is a top-class prospect nominated in the first round of the 2022 2nd draft. However, he only made 6 appearances for the first team in his debut season. His earned run average is 13.50. He failed to show the control and deception (hidden motion when throwing) that he was recognized for in high school on his professional stage.
In order to use Choi Ji-min in the bullpen in the 2023 season, KIA dispatched him to Geelong Korea instead of the finishing camp to induce him to gain practical experience. This choice was right. Choi Ji-min also learned how to use the changeup from Koo Dae-seong, who joined at the end of the ABL season. Major leaguer Ryu Hyun-jin learned the changeup from Koo Dae-sung when he was a rookie and made it his main weapon. Choi Ji-min is also expected to use sharper breaking balls.
Kim Seok-hwan, the ‘Geopo Prospect’, also regained his confidence. He hit 4 home runs in 10 games in the ABL. Although he returned home halfway due to lymphadenitis, he left a strong impression in a short period of time. Kim Seok-hwan said, “I was able to broaden my horizons by playing with players from other teams, and it was a valuable experience to see various balls from foreign pitchers.”
Kim Seok-hwan was expected to be the starting left fielder candidate from last year’s spring camp, and he consistently got a chance to start for a month after the opening of the regular season. However, he only had a batting average of 10% and went down to the 2nd team. He hasn’t had a chance since. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk still highly evaluates the qualities of Kim Seok-hwan, who has good strength and solid fundamentals. Kim Seok-hwan, who has built up his confidence in actual matches throughout the winter, challenges again for the still-vacant starting left fielder position.
Kim Kyu-seong joined Geelong Korea instead when rookie Kim Do-young, who was originally scheduled to be dispatched, suffered a toe injury. He had a batting average of 0.281, a slugging percentage of 0.427, 3 home runs and 13 RBIs in 27 games he appeared in. He was evaluated as lacking in offense compared to his solid defense in the KBO League, but showed off his long hitting power in the ABL.