KIA Smile Guy Yoon Young-chul (19) tops out at 141 to 142 mph with his fastball. Most of his pitches are in the mid-to-low 130s. However, he utilizes his borderline fastball so well that you’d think he was still in high school. Even his changeup, slider, and other offspeed pitches can be used both to work the strike count and as a changeup.
It’s encouraging to see that as he gains experience in the first team, he’s making changes to his pitch design and adapting to the hitters’ research. However, it is true that there is a limit to his velocity, which cannot be called strong or weak.
Manager Kim Jong-kook said that Yoon’s weighted pitch count is high, and he doesn’t let him throw more than 100 pitches per game. In fact, he threw 99 pitches (2 runs) in 7 innings against SSG in Gwangju on the 6th, which was his first quality start. He threw seven innings with fewer pitches than in other games.
However, it’s clear that Yoon throws fewer pitches per batter. Coach Kim once said that he often throws foul cuts after two strikes. The ball itself is in the 130-kilometer range, so hitters can see it. Even if they don’t make a hit, they often get caught. As a result, you run the risk of getting hit hard if you don’t have a precise command.
That’s why SBS Sports commentator Lee Soon-cheol once said during one of Yoon’s appearances earlier in the season that Yoon would essentially “play with” hitters by increasing his fastball’s top speed to 145km/h. Then he would be able to press the ball with force even if it was a slider.
Lee suggested on the air that if Yoon couldn’t get his velocity up, he could lengthen his hand separation from the glove to put more power 스포츠토토 into the ball. It’s like the principle that when you draw a bow, you need to move your arm back far enough to gather power. At my current speed, I need extreme command, and Yoon is a human being, so if I’m off my game, I could get hit.
It’s not impossible. Choi Ji-min, Yoon’s one-year senior, has already shown it. Last year, when he was a rookie, he couldn’t break out of the late 130s and early 140s. But this year, he’s been throwing the ball in the mid-to-late 140s. He’s up to 150km. That’s a 10-kilometer increase in one year, so there’s no reason why Yoon can’t increase his velocity if he systematically prepares for the 2024 season.
Jang Won-sam, who Lee mentioned in his prime, also doubled his power when he increased his output to the mid-140kms. We know that neither KIA nor Yoon Young-chul can force the issue right now, but in the long run, the answer is out there. This is still a rookie-level performance, but how much more appealing will he be if he raises his velocity? He’s the opposite of Lee, who is two years his senior. He has a bright future, and I can’t wait to see it.