“There is no rush” Except for Kim Seo-hyun’s opening match, the 2nd group starts… The Power of Hanwha Pitcher’s Depth
Pitcher Kim Seo-hyeon (19, Hanwha), who entered the 2023 KBO Rookie Draft with the first overall pick, starts the season with the Futures (second group) team. As a player who will be responsible for the future for the next 10 years, Hanwha is not in a hurry and is steadily polishing. It is also a possible decision because the pitcher’s depth has improved remarkably.
One day before the opening of the 2023 KBO League on April 1, the opening entries for 10 clubs were released. A total of 280 players, 28 players from 10 clubs, were registered for the opening entry, of which 14 are newcomers. Since 2008, when there were 15 players, the largest number of rookies start with the first team.
SSG pitcher Song Young-jin, Lee Rowun, Kiwoom pitcher Geon-hee Kim, 스포츠토토catcher Kim Dong-hun, infielder Lee Seung-won, LG pitcher Park Myeong-geun, KT infielder Ryu Hyun-in, Son Min-seok, KIA pitcher Kwak Do-gyu, Samsung pitcher Lee Ho-seong, Lotte pitcher Lee Jin-ha, Lee Tae-yeon, outfielder Kim Min-seok, Hanwha infielder Moon Hyun-bin, etc. Doosan All eight clubs, except NC and NC, put at least one newcomer in the opening entry.
Kim Seo-hyun allowed one walk each in the last three games of the demonstration game, showing an imperfect pitch. In particular, on the 28th, his last game against Samsung in Daegu, he added a walk and two balls that fit his body, and even came out with a wild fight on 3 pitches, and his pitching was shaken sharply.
His pitching is the top class in the first team right now, but he has revealed his weakness in throwing and controlling runners. The changing ball is still not perfect. Since he is a rookie, it is only natural that his shortcomings are still exposed against first-team players. He is aiming for his first team debut after polishing by digesting actual battles in the Futures League, which is less sexually burdensome.
It’s a decision that would never have been easy if it had been like the previous year. However, in just one year, the pitching staff depth of Hanwha has improved remarkably. Lee Tae-yang and Han Seung-hyuk, who joined the free agent and traded along with Jang Si-hwan, Joo Hyun-sang, Kang Jae-min, and Yoon San-heum, as right-handed bullpen pitchers like Kim Seo-hyun, were included in the opening roster.
There are seven right-handed bullpen resources, including Han Seung-joo, who was prepared as a starting candidate but was included in the opening entry as a bullpen. The depth of the mound, which has become so abundant that it is not necessary to use Kim Seo-hyun in the first team right away, is also buying time for nurturing newcomers.
It is somewhat surprising that Hanwha’s first rookie Kim Seo-hyun was left out. In the demonstration game, Kim Seo-hyun recorded 3 holds in 5 games (5 innings) and achieved good results with an average ERA of 1.80. Although he showed off his talent as a top prospect with a fastball of up to 158 km, Hanwha sent Kim Seo-hyun to Seosan, where the Futures team is located, without putting him in the opening entry.
It is a foretold decision. Hanwha coach Carlos Subero said of Kim Seo-hyun last week, “I am still a rookie, and there is nothing urgent. He is a lumber that can be used immediately in the first team, but a steady training process is necessary for the future of the player.” Baseball is a sport where mentality is more important than you think, so it is important not to lose confidence.”