The season of Moon Dong-ju (20, Hanwha), who emerged as a domestic ace, ended early. In Moon Dong-ju’s absence, other young guns are given a chance. A survival competition is held in advance to compete for selection for next season.스포츠토토
Moon Dong-ju ended this season with the game against LG in Jamsil (4⅓ innings, 3 runs) on the 3rd. Moon Dong-ju, who began pitching in earnest in his second year of high school, did not have much pitching ability as a pitcher, and the team set an innings limit for management purposes. It ended within 120 innings, and Moon Dong-joo’s final performance of the season was 8 wins, 8 losses, ERA 3.72, and 95 strikeouts in 23 games (118⅔ innings). He is a worthy candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Now, Moon Dong-ju moves to Seosan to prepare for the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled to be held on the 22nd of this month. Moon Dong-joo’s season ended first, but Hanwha still has 33 games remaining. The schedule is for about 5 weeks, and other pitchers will get a chance to start in Moon Dong-ju’s place. Hanwha coach Choi Won-ho announced a selection test, mentioning Nam Ji-min and Kim Ki-joong as replacement candidates.
Nam Ji-min, who was selected with the 8th overall pick in the 2nd 1st round in 2020, is a right-hander Young-geon who experienced 20 games as a starter last year and throws a fastball of up to 153 km. However, he performed poorly this year with 1 win, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 7.56 in 12 games (4 starts, 25 innings). Although he was hit hard with a monotonous pitch, he is still an attractive pitcher and cannot be easily given up.
Left-hander Kim Ki-joong, who entered with the second overall pick in the second first round in 2021, started this season in the bullpen. First team 30 games (28 innings), 1 loss, ERA 4.82. After being moved down to the second team at the end of June, he was converted to a starting position. He had 1 win, 1 loss, and an ERA of 4.50 in 5 appearances as a Futures League starter. He is rare as one of the few left-handed starting resources in Hanwha.
The performance of the two pitchers for the remainder of the season is also connected to Hanwha’s starting plans for next year. Two foreign pitchers, Moon Dong-ju, and Lee Tae-yang, who has been an all-round pitcher but is pitching better since switching to the starting lineup, will still have one spot left even if the four starting pitchers are considered fixed. We plan to select a group of 10 candidates with ample reserve resources to prepare for any unexpected variables.
Coach Choi Won-ho said, “In planning for next year, we need to decide on 10 priority players for selection. “We have to look at Kim Min-woo and Kim Seo-hyun (who are rehabilitating from injuries) in the training league and finishing camp, and I don’t know who they will be, but we also have to see how the first-ranked rookie pitcher compares to the existing players and make a plan,” he said.
Kim Min-woo, who served as the first starter with the most innings among domestic pitchers on the team for three years from 2020 to 2022, left in mid-June due to a shoulder triceps injury. Kim Min-woo, who is undergoing rehabilitation in Seosan, plans to participate in the Miyazaki Training League in Japan to regain his game sense after the season. Rookie fireballer Seohyun Kim, who is experiencing growing pains due to poor ball control, also joins the team.
There is also interest in new rookie pitchers. High school’s biggest player, Jang Hyun-seok (Yongma High School), has decided to challenge the United States by signing with the LA Dodgers, but it is highly likely that left-hander Hwang Jun-seo (Jangchung High School) will be selected as the first overall pick in the 2024 KBO rookie draft to be held on the 14th. Hwang Jun-seo’s potential will be closely checked at the finishing camp.
In addition, we cannot leave out Han Seung-ju, a promising pitcher who showed potential as a mid-level pitcher this season and also received a starting opportunity. Han Seung-ju, who showed solid performance this season with 39 games (2 starts, 53⅔ innings), 1 win, 2 losses, 2 holds, and an ERA of 3.35, recently entered the starting rotation. The opportunity to pitch was postponed due to rain cancellation, but he will start against SSG in Daejeon on the 5th.
Due to the end of Moon Dong-joo’s season, Han Seung-ju is also expected to receive ample opportunities as a starter for the time being. He, along with Nam Ji-min and Kim Ki-joong, could gain an advantage in next year’s selection competition depending on how he pitches for the rest of the season.