“You have to be prepared.”
One of the reasons Kia was so excited about this season was the abundance of left-handed pitching. The assessment of a lefty kingdom still holds true as we enter the final stretch of the season. All four starters (Thomas Pannoni, Yang Hyun-jong, Lee Yi-ri, and Yoon Young-chul) are left-handed.
In the bullpen, Choi Ji-min and Lee Jun-young are also key to the succession. Out of the 10 teams, KIA is the only one with six left-handed pitchers. Surprisingly, that’s not all. In addition to Kim Yoo-shin, who has bounced between the first and second divisions, there are other left-handed pitchers who have garnered attention early on.
Kim Ki-hoon, submarine Kim Dae-yoo, and Kwak Do-gyu are the prime examples. Kim was called up to the second team in late May and again in mid-August. Dae-yoo was briefly sidelined due to a poor performance followed by a health scare. Kwak Do-kyu was given relatively fewer opportunities, but he drew attention for his unique pitching stance.
Kim Ki-hoon has been unbalanced all season. He has two wins and a 3.48 ERA in 28 games. While his numbers look good, he hasn’t really contributed much to the team. As a 2019 first-round pick, he hasn’t had the kind of season that would make him a lock for a starting or bullpen spot. In his last 10 starts, he had a decent 2.25 ERA. However, that’s 13 hits and 10 walks in 12 innings. That’s a lot of walks. That’s a lot of strikeouts.
Kim Dae-hoon is bouncing between starting and middling in the Futures League. After the Gwangju NC game was canceled due to rain on the 30th, manager Kim Jong-guk said, “In the Futures League, I take a lot of innings and pitches. I’m a starter and a middle reliever.” He added, “I need a little more in the Futures League. If I keep playing, it might change, but I have to be prepared. I have a chance. The first-team bullpen is going to be based on experienced players.” There are no immediate plans to call up Kim Ki-hoon to the first team.
Kim Dae-yoo was one of the best pitchers in LG, but he hasn’t been good in his first season. Even in the second team, he didn’t throw a ball from mid-June to early July, but his pace in August was good. In 12 games, he has 3 holds and 1 save with a 0.93 ERA. He doesn’t have a lot of velocity, but he does have the rare gift of a left-handed sidearm.
“I’m still getting reports on Dae-yu. He’s a player who should be called up, but I think he needs to prepare a little more in the Futures.” Even if he doesn’t make the team right away, he could be ready for September. He’s the No. 1 option for Plan B if the existing bullpen gets tired. He can handle one or two left-handed hitters and even delete an inning if the situation calls for it.
Kim didn’t mention Kwak Do-gyu, but he’s gaining experience in the Futures League. He has a higher arm height than Kim, but a lower three-quarter. Very unique pitching trajectory. In particular, he has a very impressive routine where he shakes both shoulders back and forth twice before taking his pitching stance and throwing the ball.메이저놀이터
After a brief stint in the first team, he pitched consistently well in the second team. In 34 games, he has a 6-1 record, 5 holds, 4 saves, and a 2.67 ERA. Even if he doesn’t make it to the first team right away, he’s definitely worth testing in the long run.