The tiger’s jump to the top, it’s in the hands of a 19-year-old
The KIA Tigers finished the 2021 season in 9th place and replaced the representative, general manager, and manager at the same time. The keyword for this season, which is in the second year of the great revolution, is ‘lefty’. Other teams have valuable left-handed pitcher resources, such as Yang Hyeon-jong, Lee Eui-ri, and Lee Jun-young, Kim Ki-hoon, who returned from the Armed Forces Sports Corps, and Choi Ji-min, a second-year pro.
Another left-handed pitcher that cannot be left out is Yoon Young-chul (19), who was nominated as the second overall pick in the rookie draft. KIA competed for first and second place in the league in batting last season, but stayed in the bottom ranks in pitching power and finished fifth. If Yoon Young-cheol lives up to expectations in the starter or bullpen, it will give KIA a boost this season.
Yoon Young-chul was selected as a starting candidate and was the only rookie on the team to be on the roster for the team’s spring camp to be held in Arizona, USA from the 1st of next month. Five days before his departure, he met at the KIA 2nd District Stadium in Hampyeong, Jeollanam-do, and he was a shy boy, contrary to the title of ‘special rookie’. He said, “Thank you for giving me a high evaluation and I’m looking forward to it,” but also said, “I think I have to do better that much.”
last year’s high school baseball, Shim Jun-seok (Pittsburgh Pirates), Kim Seo-hyeon (Hanwha), Shin Young-woo (NC), and Yoon Young-chul were selected as the ‘big 4 pitchers’. Yun Young-chul, the only left-hander among the four, did not receive much attention originally. This is because, unlike other pitchers who threw fastballs of over 150 km/h with a dynamic pitching form, the velocity was only in the early to mid-140 km/h range.
However, Yoon Young-cheol emerged as ‘high school number one’ with a sense of stability instead of splendor. The stage of the Blue Dragon High School Baseball Championship held in the summer was decisive. Chungam High School ace Yoon Yeong-cheol threw 17 2/3 innings in 4 games at the time, not allowing a single run and recording an average ERA of 0.00. He did not make it to the final due to the pitch limit, but was recognized for his performance and won the Fighting Spirit Award and was invited to various awards ceremonies at the end of the year. He said, “The memory of the Blue Dragon is still vivid.”
“I prepared harder than other competitions. I saw the matchup and said (because the opponent was strong), ‘This must be difficult’, but once it started, the match worked out particularly well.”
Yun Young-cheol’s strength is his control and game management skills. During his high school career, he gave up only 24 walks while striking out 236. 바카라
Yoon Young-cheol also fought well against former professional players who had just retired in an entertainment program. He said, “I realized at that time that if you throw at a constant tempo, you are bound to get hit.”
The ‘deception’, which hides behind the body until right before throwing the ball, is also excellent. A teammate who was playing catch together said, “I can’t see the ball.” He uses a highly-perfected changeup, slider, and curveball, and is also equipped with a cutter in preparation for his professional stage.
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His role model was originally Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays), who is active in the MLB (US professional baseball). He said, “I liked the fact that he is a left-handed player who competes with control,” and “but now he has changed to senior Yang Hyeon-jong.” He smiled at the playful question, “Isn’t it because you were a team senior?”
“It was impressive to see him working hard in a place that can’t be seen on TV. Hearing that the day after he starts, he goes through hours of strengthening drills, he feels once again how to do well for a long time.”
Yoon Young-cheol is not free from the controversy over overuse, which is common for high school aces and lefties. He threw 179 and 2/3 innings three years of high school. He had two or three times more than any other player.
“I don’t really care (about the overuse controversy). He’s on the pitch count control side. Looking at his official match record, it is true that he threw more than other friends, but he rarely threw the ball during practice games or team training.”
KIA produced rookie king Lee Eui-ri two years ago. Yoon Young-chul cautiously opened his mouth to the rookie king story.
“First of all, my goal is to stay in the first team for a long time at the beginning of the season. If you do well until the middle and late half, wouldn’t you be able to aim for the Rookie of the Year? I want to become a pitcher representing the team in the future.”