The WBC failed… Korean baseball hopes have risen, already 158 km Kim Seo-hyun ‘strong debut’

 Right-handed pitcher Kim Seo-hyun (19), who came in as the first overall pick in the 2023 KBO Rookie Draft, made his debut in an exhibition game. Even in mid-March, when the cold weather is rampant, he threw a fastball with a maximum speed of 158km wearing short sleeves. 

Kim Seo-hyun pitched in relief in the 8th inning, trailing 3-5 in an exhibition game against KIA in the 2023 KBO League held at Daejeon Hanwha Life Insurance Eagles Park on the 14th. From the moment Kim Seo-Hyun came out of the left outfield bullpen and stepped onto the mound, the Daejeon crowd cheered and paid attention to the super rookie’s debut match. 메이저놀이터

Kim Seo-hyun, who evoked admiration from the crowd by throwing a fastball in the 150 km range from the practice pitch. However, he allowed a straight walk to first batter Lee Woo-sung. All four balls were fastballs, but they were not controlled. Then, Woo-hyuk Byun hit the first straight ball and was put into a crisis with no 1st and 2nd bases. 

Hwang Dae-in threw 1 or 2 balls in a row, and when the ball faltered, catcher Heo Gwan-hoe climbed the mound and cut off the flow once. Kim Seo-hyun, who got the first out count by throwing a fastball again with the next ball to induce a fly ball in the first base infield, struck out looking Kim Ho-ryeong with an outside fastball at the end of a 6-ball game. 

Kim Seo-hyun, who was delighted by hitting the glove once with his right hand, began to receive it as if the tension was relieved. He threw 4 consecutive fastballs to the next hitter, Joo Hyo-sang, and caught the last out count with a ground ball in front of the pitcher. He calmly caught the hit ball that hit his left leg and accurately connected it to the throw to first base. He overcame the 1st and 2nd base crisis with no runs and received applause from Daejeon home fans. 

The performance before his debut in the demonstration game was 1 inning, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, no run. The total number of pitches was 18, with more balls (10) than strikes (8). He threw mainly fastballs (16) and curveballs (2) intermittently, but it did not go where he wanted. He was hard to see as a very good pitcher overall. 

However, it was so powerful that the highest fastball speed reached 158 km based on Trackman. The stadium’s electronic display board displayed up to 157km, making the spectators agitated. Kim Seo-hyun, who climbed the mound in short sleeves even on a cold day and continued to throw balls at 150 km, was strong enough to reach an average fastball speed of 154 km. He showed himself in a difficult situation and brought himself into a crisis, but the fact that he overcame it without conceding a goal was also outstanding. 

Kim Seo-hyun, a right-handed three-quarters pitcher from Seoul High School, threw a fastball of up to 156 km at the World Youth Baseball Championship in Florida last September, becoming a hot topic not only in Korea but also in Japan. He joined Hanwha with the first overall pick in the first round of the draft this year, and in the actual spring camp, 2 games, 2 innings, 1 hit, 1 hit, 1 strikeout, and no runs were blocked, raising expectations with the bullpen immediately. On this day, in his demonstration game debut, his highest speed was raised to 158 km, increasing his chances of joining the opening roster. 

Korean baseball is engulfed in the shock of being knocked out early in the first round three times in a row due to lethargic performance in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). With the entire baseball world suffering major internal injuries and voices of self-reflection rising everywhere, hope is still alive. Valuable resources such as Kim Seo-hyun should be nurtured well and used as a stepping stone for Korean baseball to take off. / 

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