Three candidates, one spot left… Competition for KIA ‘5 selections’ to heat up
Who will be the main character who will take the last place in the KIA Tigers selection rotation for the next season?
KIA welcomed a new foreign duo by signing contracts with right-hander Sean Anderson and right-hander Adonis Medina in November of last year. Anderson and Medina are in charge of one axis of the starting lineup along with Yang Hyeon-jong and Lee Eui-ri.
Four starting pitchers are fixed, but one seat is vacant. Competition among candidates to enter the starting lineup is inevitable.
Lim Gi-young, who has been active as a starter for three consecutive seasons, Kim Ki-hoon, a “left-handed fireballer,” and Yoon Young-chul, a “special rookie,” are expected to compete in good faith for the 5th starting spot.
Lim Ki-young is a proven selection agent. He pitched in 76 games as a starter over the past three seasons, throwing in 120 or more innings each season.
Last year, Lim Ki-young was a compliant 5th starting resource. He completed 10 quality starts and posted an earned run average (4.24) in the early 4-point range, although he only had 4 wins (13 losses) due to severe bad luck. His stability comes first.
Kim Ki-hoon, who had a complete transformation last year, also deserves attention. Kim Ki-hoon, who returned to KIA after completing his military service in the Armed Forces Sports Unit (Sangmu) in September last year, started as a bullpen pitcher in all 5 games, throwing 8⅔ innings, 4 hits, 9 strikeouts and 1 run. His earned run average was just 1.04. 메이저사이트
In particular, Kim Ki-hoon throws a 150km/h fastball even though he is a lefty. On top of that, he also has the experience of participating in 23 games as a starting pitcher on the mound for the first team. If you need a starting pitcher, you can consider Kim Ki-hoon.
A rookie jumps into the selection competition. KIA nominated Yoon Young-cheol as the second overall pick in the first round in the 2023 KBO Rookie Draft. Yoon Yeong-chul, who was considered the ‘largest left-hander’, played 15 games last year, recording 13 wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 1.66 in 65⅓ innings. He literally topped his high school stage. Yoon Young-chul is the future of the starting mound for the Tigers. If he proves his competitiveness, there is a possibility that he will start as a starting pitcher from this year.
KIA will hold a spring camp next month at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, USA. After all, there was less than a month left.
Spring camp is a field of competition. KIA also needs to devise the best lineup through competition. KIA, where outstanding candidates are waiting, has some room in the starting lineup. Who will be the starting pitcher who will solve the final puzzle of the rotation? It is interesting to watch the KIA selection mound.