“I’m throwing from the top of my form.”
Hanwha’s spring training camp in Mesa, Arizona, in February. Many eyes were on Seo-hyun Kim (19), the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 KBO Draft. From the moment he warmed up by playing catch, there was something a little different about him than other pitchers. It was his arm height.
Kim is a hard-throwing three-quarter fastball pitcher, but he suddenly lowered his arm height to throw a pitch that was halfway between a three-quarter and an underhand. She even went as low as an underhand. Being able to adjust his arm height is a talent.
However, we haven’t seen this since the start of the season. The coaching staff fixed his arm height. With his arm height fixed, he pitched out of the bullpen in the first team and struggled with his pitches. This was the premise of his starting pitching lessons in the second team.
Before the game against the Gwangju KIA on May 5, Choi Won-ho said, “The Futures coaching staff limited my arm height. I had to raise it more than lower it. I had him throw with a consistent pitching motion, but he couldn’t be as high as (Moon) Dong-ju, and he threw the highest in his form,” Choi said.
“It’s okay to throw with different arm heights if your pitches are good. But in reality, I couldn’t let that happen. The risk of injury was also a concern. Seo-hyun Kim reestablished her pitching mechanics and started five games as a starter. 21 innings, 24 hits, 24 strikeouts, 11 walks, 9 earned runs, 3.86 ERA, with a good strikeout-to-walk ratio.
He pitched 5⅔ innings against the Goyang Heroes on July 6 and 5⅓ innings against the Samsung Electronics on July 1. He never pitched a full six innings. However, Choi decided to use him because he received reports from the second team that he was the best among the second team starters.
“Pitchers who can’t throw strikes have a large error in their release point. It is difficult to reduce the error range by throwing downward. I had to reduce the margin of error whether it was down or up. I improved a lot. The second-team staff said he was the best, so I trust him.”스포츠토토
This leaves Hanwha’s starting lineup with Moon Dong-joo and Kim Seo-hyun, a homegrown duo capable of 155km to 160km. Together with Felix Peña, Ricardo Sanchez, and Han Seung-hyuk, they complete a strong pitching staff. Of course, it’s not the speed that matters, it’s the results. It’s also important to see how Kim Seo-hyun settles in as a starter in the first team, and how Hanwha will help and manage him along the way. In any case, Moon Dong-ju and Kim Seo-hyun are two of the top prospects in the Korean Baseball Organization that should go hand in hand for the next 10 years.