Last year, Hanwha saw its potential explode as promising fireballer Moon Dong-ju (21) became the starting pitcher. By becoming the first Korean pitcher to throw an official 160-kilometer fastball, Hanwha overcame the handicap to win the Rookie of the Year award. It is the first time in 17 years that Hanwha has won the Rookie of the Year award since Ryu Hyun-jin in 2006.
Hanwha aims to produce the Rookie of the Year award for the second consecutive year for the first time in its team. The duo is expected to have explosive potential as they entered the league as the top draft pick for the second consecutive year. Right-hander Kim Seo-hyun (20) and rookie left-hander Hwang Joon-seo (19) are both expected to be strong candidates for the Rookie of the Year award.
Kim Seo-hyun, who threw only 22 ⅓ innings in the first division last year, has maintained his rookie status (within five years since joining the league, accumulated 30 or less innings). Moon Dong-ju joined the team in 2022, but he also met his rookie status in 2023 by finishing the season with 28 ⅔ innings in the first year.
Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho has been paying close attention to Kim Seo-hyun and Hwang Jun-seo since the closing camp of Miyazaki in Japan last year, and devised ways to utilize them. The team held in-depth discussions on how to utilize the two players through workshops across the entire team. Ahead of the spring camp in Melbourne, Australia, which is scheduled to depart on March 30, the team has set up a customized training plan with two tracks. Hwang will prepare as a starter, and Kim Seo-hyun as a bullpen.
“I saw him during the closing camp, and his pitching is as stable as I heard from people around him, and he has a good tip of the ball,” Choi said of Hwang. “He throws mostly folk balls and curves with breaking balls, which is quite good. I think he can highly compete as a starting pitcher. I want to take him to the camp and have him compete as a starting pitcher up to an exhibition game.” With three starters confirmed, Hanwha has Lee Tae-yang, Kim Min-woo, Kim Ki-joong and Hwang Jun-seo competing for the fourth to fifth starting positions.
Hwang, who showed off his potential early enough to join the youth national team since his sophomore year of Jangchung High School, is a 187-centimeter tall left-hander who boasts stable pitching form, balance, and excellent ball control and breaking ball pitching capability. He is highly praised for his ability to throw breaking balls even in unfavorable count as he does not perform so-called “ball-jumping.” He also elevated his maximum speed to 150 kilometers last spring. If he undergoes systematic training in pro baseball, he is expected to be able to achieve sufficient sustainability even in fastballs.
Hwang Joon-seo, a Hanwha rookie who is participating in the spring camp for the first team along with infielder Hwang Young-mook, said, “I feel good about being a starting candidate. I will do my best at the camp so that I can join the fourth or fifth starting position. I want to show that I can be used as a starting pitcher,” adding, “My goal is to make the first-team entry at the opening game and receive the Rookie of the Year award.”
Kim Seo-hyun, who was spotlighted as a super rookie this time last year, made a strong impression by banking on his 160-kilometer fastball based on a trackman, and managed to secure one save, but later suffered from difficulties in controlling his ball control. Kim started out as a relief pitcher, but started out as a starter at the Futures team in the middle of the season and underwent a test in the first division as well, and is focusing on bullpen sessions this year. He boasts fiery fastball and tip of the ball, which is among the best in the league, but collapsed on days when his ball control was not controlled. He judged that it would not be beneficial for his team or players to keep giving him chances as a starter, which carries heavy burden. 랭크카지노주소
“Kim Seo-hyun starts this season as a bullpen session. All he has to do is not play ball. His talent is superior to that of other players,” Choi said. “I will focus on boosting my performance by writing short notes with a bullpen.” He is deployed as a pursuit team early in the season, and goes through a build-up process to gradually increase his weight.