The KBO is excited about the performance of Kim Seo-hyun (19, HANWHA) and Yoon Young-chul (19, KIA), the first and second overall picks in the 2023 rookie draft. Both players are high school rookies with a lot to work on. However, they’re both enjoying their debut seasons in the first team, showing clear signs of potential.
Kim Seo-hyun, the No. 1 overall pick, has already made a big splash in the first team, throwing a fastball over 160 kilometers per hour. While fastballs aren’t everything, having a shoulder that can throw 160km is definitely a blessing in disguise. Yoon Young-cheol doesn’t have the best velocity, but he’s risen through the ranks of the starting rotation thanks to his steady delivery and a game management that belies his high school rookie status.
The 2023 rookie draft is also characterized by the fact that players selected in the top 1-3 rounds are making their first-team debuts earlier than usual, capturing the attention of fans. However, the “original first-rounders,” who were recognized as having greater potential than these players in the first place, disappeared from view for a while. Shim Jun-seok (19, Pittsburgh), who went undrafted and chose to pursue a major league career, has been sweating out his future in secret.
After traveling to the United States immediately after signing with the team and training in Bradenton, Florida, where the team’s training facility is located, Shim will now move up to the Rookie League and begin his American life in earnest. There were rumors of injury, but none of them were true. Since moving to the U.S., he has been pitching out of the bullpen, and since April, he has been pitching live, gradually increasing his innings.
He is scheduled to start against the Baltimore Rookies on April 11 (KST). The fact that he’s starting right away will give us a good idea of his preparation and Pittsburgh’s expectations. The general consensus among team officials is that Shim’s skills have already surpassed those of the rookie league. If he continues to pitch well in the Rookie League, he could be promoted to Single-A sooner than expected. For now, the team is aiming for a promotion to Single-A within the year.
He’s warmed up his shoulder enough to be a starter. Plus, I’ve been working on a lot of things over the last three or four months. My pitching form has changed a little bit from high school. I feel like it’s more concise. While his peers are enjoying the glamorous spotlight of the KBO, Sim Jun-seok, the biggest name in the game, is laying the foundation for his future by training rather than playing.
In fact, it’s not easy to take such steps calmly when you’re in the KBO’s first team. If he had, it’s likely he’d be pitching in the first team by now, rather than the second, given his skill level. The first team is not a place for experimentation. It’s a place to perform and produce results. Naturally, the focus is on the game at hand, and there is no time or mental space to work out the kinks.메이저놀이터
Throwing the ball in a high-level league is important, but in the long run, it’s better to get stronger and try different things now. He’s taking it easy, doing what he wants to do, finding his strengths and making changes. This is what he’s been doing since he came to the United States.
The Pittsburgh organization is reportedly very happy with his current form. The younger players already in the training facility couldn”t even hit his pitches in live action. The promotion to the Rookie League came with that assessment. Pittsburgh plans to give him plenty of time. They’re going to let him throw the way he wants to throw, find the form and balance he’s most comfortable with, and then water that foundation.
It’s easy to be jealous of your peers, and it’s easy to feel lonely not being the center of attention right now. But Shim, who crossed the Pacific Ocean with a big dream of making it to the major leagues in three years, is ready for it. He doesn’t care about the immediate results, but rather about the next three years, and then the next step in the process. That’s why we’re looking forward to his calm steps as he begins a new phase of his career in the Rookie League.