“When I think of myself to debut in a first-team game, I’m already excited. If the team wins my first game, it will be the happiest day of my life.”
Pitcher Kim Seo-hyun (19), who joined Hanwha with the first overall pick in the 2023 KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) rookie draft, is a newbie who has been out of high school for less than a month, but unlike a rookie, her expression and tone are consistently overflowing with confidence. . Even so, he could not hide his excitement about playing on the professional stage of his dreams. I met him at the Hanwha District 2 Stadium in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do, who is in the midst of tempering ahead of the season opening in April.
◇”My strength is ‘Steel Mental’… I focus on strengths rather than weaknesses.”
Kim Seo-hyun, who is 188 cm tall, threw a fastball with a maximum speed of 156 km/h during her time in Seoul High School, and was evaluated as having a sense of power that would immediately work in the pros. Excluding the freshman year, when he could not participate in the tournament due to the aftermath of his elbow surgery, he recorded an earned run average of 1.42 (3 wins, 4 losses) in 26 high school tournaments for two years. With 97 strikeouts, he competed for the top pitcher in high school baseball with Shim Jun-seok (19), a graduate of Deoksu High School, who recently signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Hanwha highly evaluated Kim Seo-hyun’s ability and gave him a huge amount of 500 million won as a down payment. This is the joint third-highest rookie signing contract in the history of the Hanwha club. Choi Won-ho, coach of Hanwha’s 2nd team, who is guiding new players during the inactive period (December-January), said, “Kim Seo-hyun has a fast speed and good pitching balance, so she can play an active role in the first team right away.”
Regarding the club’s expectations, Kim Seo-hyun said, “There is a sense of pressure, but he doesn’t want to care too much. He said, “I will focus on doing what I can on the mound.” He cited strong mental (mental power) as his greatest strength. He said, “It’s hard to get my mind together once my mentality collapses, but I’m not shaken and calm on the mound even if the game doesn’t work out.” ” he said.
When asked about what needs to be supplemented to succeed in the professional world, he said, “I don’t look for weaknesses on my own. When you find a weakness, you become obsessed with it. I will focus on my strengths and listen to advice on what to improve after the season.” He also said, “Now I am trying to increase my physique rather than the technical part,” and “I want to increase my arm strength by increasing my weight from 88kg to 95kg. Weight training is also centered on the upper body.”
◇ “My role model is Koo Dae-sung, I will lead fall baseball” 메이저놀이터
Kim Seo-hyun, who started his career as a player by joining the school baseball team in the third grade of elementary school, said that he enjoyed baseball in the 1980s and 1990s from then on. He said that he looked up the performance of the great seniors through YouTube whenever he was bored during breaks. He said that he developed his dream while watching pitching videos of Choi Dong-won and Seon Dong-ryeol, who dominated an era, as well as Hanwha seniors Song Jin-woo and Jeong Min-cheol, during active service.
Among them, Koo Dae-seong, who is considered the best closer in Hanwha history, was chosen as his role model. Kim Seo-hyun, who wants to play an active role as a finishing pitcher who protects the team’s victory like Koo Dae-sung, said, “Koo Dae-sung was able to throw the ball he wanted to throw. He said, “I want to resemble the way he overcame unfavorable situations with a clear decision ball.”
Kim Seo-hyun’s KakaoTalk profile shows the remaining days until the opening of the 2023 season (April 1). He said, “I am more excited than nervous,” and said, “As a rookie, I want to help the team advance into fall baseball, and I want to become a player who is recognized not only for my skills and personality, but also for my fan service.”