When you’re a rookie, you throw without knowing what’s cool. Sometimes, it is packaged as a feat. If you succeed, you gain confidence, and with that confidence you grow again. But they rarely expand their limits every year. Once or twice, it is bound to fall and collapse. It is important to be able to move forward again here.
Recently, young bullpen pitchers with good pitches are often born in the KBO League. As can be seen from the roster of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) team to be held in March, there is a clear trend of generational change in the bullpen. The pitchers who represented such a young generation were Jeong Hae-young (22‧KIA) and Choi Jun-yong토토사이트 (22‧Lotte), both born in 2001. With his heavy fastball, he was reborn as the team’s key bullpen resource at once.
Although both players do not throw fastballs of more than 150 km per hour, they are evaluated in common that the power of the ball is unusual. Jung Hae-young is heavy, and Choi Jun-yong comes alive. “There is power beyond restraint,” is one voice from the others. It was on the verge of earning the title of top rank in each position by putting these advantages to the fore.
In fact, Jung Hae-young won 34 saves in 64 games in 2021, standing tall as the most popular next-generation finishing resource in the league. Besides simply making 34 saves, his earned run average was just 2.20. Choi Jun-yong also seemed to break out of the egg brilliantly, recording 20 holds and an average ERA of 2.85 in 44 games in 2021. If he had completed the season without injury, the honor of the Rookie of the Year might have come.
However, 2022 has been a bit stagnant. Jung Hae-young, who started with his opening finish, recorded 32 saves in 55 games and achieved tangible results by recording more than 30 saves for the second consecutive year. However, his earned run average rose to 3.38, and he suffered seven losses. His batting average also rose to 0.252. Choi Jun-yong recorded an average ERA of 4.06 in 68 games, and he also tasted bitterness once. Digesting 71 innings, the most in his life, was an expansion of his territory, but it was clear that he could not overcome the hurdle of his finishing promotion. Neither player made the national team roster.
In fact, unless there are exceptions like Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), it is a growing pain that everyone goes through at least once. What matters is the future. If the graph draws parallel lines or draws a downward slope, the achievements so far may disappear like a mirage. Even if you cross the uphill and downhill, the uphill should be wider. This is why 2023 is so important to both players.
Fortunately, there is no major damage to the body. Both players joined the spring camp normally. As long as the body is healthy, there are infinite players to fill. The status has not changed. Jung Hae-young is still KIA’s finisher. Choi Jun-yong did not place the title of being the core of the Lotte bullpen. It may be expecting too much from young players, but their performance is essential for both teams to deliver the results they want. I felt the burden on my shoulders. It remains to be seen whether it will be able to move forward again.