One of the issues that is heating up in the baseball world recently in major leagues and Japanese professional baseball is ‘increased redemption’. Recently, the major leagues have been showing a growth rate that is different from that of the last century, and Japanese professional baseball is also following the trend with a time lag.
There are signs of that in the KBO League as well. The average velocity in the league gradually rose and rose sharply last year. According to the statistics website ‘Staties’, the average speed of four-seam fastballs in the league in 2016 was 141.5 km. However, in 2018, it became 142.6 km, and after a while, it rebounded to 142.9 km in 2021 and then rose vertically to 144.2 km last year.
There are also foreign players who throw fast balls, but foreign players are a small sample in that they are league average. Rather, it is possible to interpret that the average of the league has been greatly raised as the ball is faster across the board. In fact, now, the number of players who can throw 150 km per hour in each KBO league club has increased quite a lot. 150 km is no longer the limit of a dream.
However, there was a team that deviated considerably from this trend, and that was Hanwha. Since 2016, Hanwha has never had a team’s four-seam fastball average speed exceed the league average. Last year, it was 142.8 km, the lowest in the league. For a while, veteran players were positioned at the center of the mound, and there was a point where the speed naturally fell, and the young players had severe ups and downs in speed. It was a group of slow fastballs.
However, looking 1-2 years from now, this may be a thing of the past. This is because young players who can throw fast balls are piling up one by one, and now they are preparing to develop into a fastball team. The speed and the perfection of the pitch are obviously separate issues, but this change in direction has a noteworthy meaning because the element that is essential for the perfection is the speed.
On the 7th (Korean time), general manager Sohn Hyuk also commented on this change, saying, “There are more players who can throw fast balls. In addition to Moon Dong-ju and Kim Seo-hyun (throwing more than 150 km), there are Nam Ji-min, Kim Bum-su, and Han Seung-hyuk. Park Joon-young also has a good basic pitch, Kim Kyu-yeon is also a player who can throw almost 150 km, and Han Seung-joo can also throw about 145-146 km.”
Many of them are young players, and it is also worth looking forward to their faster speed in the future. Birch Smith, who joined as a new foreign player this year, is also a fastball type player. 바카라
In Hanwha’s circumstances, the fastball has another point worth noting. It’s a defense. To put it bluntly, Hanwha is not a team with good defense. There are still many things to improve. In the end, the best way for a pitcher to cover up this defensive anxiety is to strike out at all and not allow an in-play hit, or to create a fly ball that misses. All in all, the efficient way to achieve both of these results is with a fast ball.
Hanwha coach Carlos Subero also nodded, saying, “A lot of young players with good shoulders have come in.” It’s time to look at the next level. A fast ball can be an essential element of success, but it does not necessarily lead to success. Coach Subero also said, “These players with good shoulders have to continue to develop a lot when they are younger. I am looking forward to that.” Attention is focusing on how the redemption rankings will change due to Hanwha three years later.