The current KIA ace is Yoon Young-cheol… If you open it, you can smell the scent of Goo Chang-mo, and there is a reason for the legendary praise.

June 12, 2023 0 Comments

“He’s got a good changeup, he’s got good control. I don’t think he throws like a 20-year-old.”

Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop, an unheralded “legend” who represents the KBO League, praised high school rookie Yoon Young-cheol (19), the opposing starting pitcher, before the game against KIA at Jamsil Stadium on Nov. 11. Before becoming a manager, Lee had watched Yoon pitch in high school through a broadcast program. Despite being on the opposing team, the “Legend” was not stingy with his praise, as he believes the youngster is a talent who will lead the KBO League.

Lee said that Yoon pitches like a young player. Usually, young players don’t show their full potential because they haven’t perfected their skills yet, and they are often pressured by the atmosphere. But Yoon is calm. “He can control his strength and weakness like a real veteran. He also has a good fastball,” explaining his strengths.

On this day, Yoon was shaky early in the game and didn’t get much support from the defense, but he did his job as a starter, allowing three runs in six innings. This marks Yoon’s 10th straight start in which he has allowed three runs or less. His ERA is 3.08. That’s just ⅓ of an inning short of a regulation inning, but if you count that, he’s currently 9th in the league in ERA.

Maybe these days, the rookie looks like the ace in the hole for KIA. The two foreigners (Shawn Anderson and Adonis Medina) are struggling to get through six innings. Lee has the best explosiveness in the league, but the ups and downs of his pitches are making some people nervous, and ace Yang Hyun-jong has given up 16 runs in 6⅓ innings in his last two games, raising his ERA to 4.55. Yoon Young-cheol has been the most reliable, consistently pitching five to six innings in the 1-3 run range.

There was some controversy surrounding Yoon leading up to the season, and even now that the season has started. He doesn’t have a fastball. His changeup, command, command of the game, and deception are some of his best attributes, but his physical velocity is the slowest. Even with the advantage of being a lefty, a fastball that doesn’t average more than 140 kilometers per hour is mediocre, not even league average.

According to Trackman, which provides tracking data for all nine KBO clubs, Yoon’s 11-day fastball was 141.1 mph and his average was just over 139 mph. However, despite facing a lot of hits and not striking out that many batters, Yoon was able to get out of trouble and achieve a quality start (3 earned runs or less over 6 innings). This is the typical pattern of Yoon’s pitching these days. He looks like he can be shut down, but he can’t.

Some people criticize Yoon’s pitches because of his slow velocity, but that’s not the case at all. His velocity is down, but his fastball movement is very good. It’s not a black fastball, it’s a straight fastball.

Yoon’s fastball consistently shows good vertical movement, reaching over 50 centimeters on Trackman. While each player’s velocity varies, it’s not much lower than Kim Ki-hoon or Jung Hae-young, who have the best numbers on the team. His horizontal movement also shows data over 25 centimeters. Both are at the top of the league. Basically, the consensus among baseball officials is that he presses the ball well and hits it well.

Because the ball is slow, hitters see it. Hitters naturally initiate contact. They see the trajectory of the pitcher’s ball and know from experience where the ball will come in. However, the ball doesn’t arrive where they think it will. The ball comes up higher than they think and hits the top of the bat, or it travels more toward the end of the bat for right-handed batters, making it harder to hit. In a game where a centimeter or two separates an outfield hit from a pop fly, Yoon’s ball movement is competitive.

The Doosan hitters on the 11th were similar. They actively swung at fastballs, but didn’t get many hits. This explains why the hitters expressed a lot of regret after their at-bats. Even though Yoon was facing a lot of hits on this day, he managed to keep his average bat speed at 134.2 kilometers per hour. This has been the case all season long, and with more than 10 games under his belt, we can no longer chalk it up to luck. It’s all skill, and it’s all Yoon’s talent. 메이저놀이터

The player who reminds me of Posim’s movement is Koo Chang-mo (NC). This is because he was one of the most recent Young Gun left-handed starters to fulfill both the vertical movement of more than 50 centimeters and the horizontal movement of more than 25 centimeters. Koo’s fastball comes with an average of 5 kilometers more velocity than Yoon’s, making it one of the strongest pitches in the league, which is difficult for Yoon to match. However, Yoon is still a rookie, so there is room for improvement.

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