Right-hander Kim Seo-hyun (19, Korea) had high expectations early on. He has been throwing fastballs approaching 160 kilometers per hour since his high school days in Seoul. At the 30th U18 Baseball World Cup last year, his fastball reached 163 mph. He was drafted by Hanwha with the first overall pick in the 2023 First-Year Player Draft. He has high potential, but adjusting to the professional game is another story. He has been up and down on the mound. In his last 10 games, he’s gone 9⅓ innings with one save and a 5.79 ERA.

Basically, he walks a lot of batters. He averages 19.8 pitches per inning. He also walks 6.23 batters per nine innings. Against Samsung on April 4, he gave up four pitches (three strikes and one ball in play) in 1⅓ innings. The lack of favorable pitch counts makes it difficult for the team to take control of the game. Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said, “In the case of (Kim) Seo-hyun, she’s trying to be too aggressive. He thinks a lot, so the tempo slows down and he throws a lot of pitches. He was using more and more changeups,” he analyzed.

Extraordinary measures were taken. “I told Seo Hyun-i to only throw to the catcher’s sign,” said Choi Won-ho. “Initially, I told him,메이저놀이터 ‘I want you to increase the percentage of fastballs. However, as the number of missed pitches increased, they decided to keep things a little simpler. To maintain balance, they kept the arm angle fixed. “It’s hard to pitch consistently if you change your arm angle,” Choi said. I told him to throw only one pitch, either up or down, until he got the hang of it. He said he felt more comfortable when he lowered it.”

It’s also a way to ease the pressure. “Basically, it’s right to throw what the pitcher wants,” Choi said, “but when it doesn’t work, it’s helpful to just look at the catcher and throw without thinking.” He has faith in his pitchers. “It’s better to keep it simple for pitchers like Seo Hyun and (Moon) Dong-ju. I told them not to throw any fastballs at all. Even if you ask them to throw to the center, there are not many balls that go straight in. If the ball is good, the chances of getting a hit are small,” he said.

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