‘Pitcher Kingdom’ KIA Tigers, the depth of the starters is still solid.
‘Great Pitcher’ Yang Hyeon-jong (35) and ‘Next Generation Ace’ Eui-ri Lee (21) form a native one-two punch. Sean Anderson (29) and Adonis Medina (27), who join the new family here, support the back. 1 to 4 selections were decided early. If you add Lim Ki-yeong (30), another starting resource, the five-person rotation is easily completed.
However, there are variables in the 5th starting position. It is not easy to see that Lim Ki-young will enter the starting lineup without blood due to the stronger KIA’s depth.
Kim Ki-hoon (23), a former veteran, is the strongest competitor. Until his enlistment, Kim Ki-hoon, who had a problem with restraint compared to restraint, was classified as a resource suitable for the bullpen rather than a selection. However, while serving in the military at Sangmu, he continued to make starting pitches for the Futures (2nd division) and took zero points. Last year, as a member of Sangmu, he showed compliance with 6 wins and 2 losses, an average ERA of 2.95, and a batting average of 2.1 in 85⅓ innings in 16 Futures League games. Even after returning to his parent’s KIA, he left a deep impression by recording no runs in 4 consecutive games after his first appearance (September 23, 2022 against Changwon NC, 2 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts and 1 run in 1⅔ innings).
Kim Ki-hoon is a pitcher with a fast ball of 150km. He became stronger as he searched for an answer to the disciplinary problem in Sangmu. He’s been primarily a bullpen role, but he can play multiple innings as well as starters. In particular, as this year’s KIA shows in the composition of foreign players, the possibility of Kim Ki-hoon participating in the selection competition is quite high, from the point of view of trying to find a breakthrough in home anxiety with the composition of the pitch-oriented starting lineup.
Another variable is rookie Yoon Young-chul (19). KIA focused on rest rather than Yoon Young-cheol’s pitching at last year’s finish camp. However, I decided to test the possibility by accompanying him to the spring camp to be held in Arizona next month. Although he had a maximum speed of 145 km in high school, he was evaluated as a pitcher with good pitches and a high possibility of increasing his speed. Depending on the pitching of the spring camp, you can make the achievement of ‘joining the starting lineup for the debut season’ like senior Eui-ri Lee. 안전놀이터
Looking at the characteristics of the three players and the composition of the entire starting lineup, it is true that Lim Ki-young still has a competitive edge. The balance between the left-hander (Yang Hyeon-jong and Lee Eui-ri) and the right-hander (Anderson Medina) is already set for the 1st to 4th starters. The reason why sidearm Lim Ki-young can get a higher score than fellow left-handers Kim Ki-hoon and Yun Young-cheol. However, if Kim Ki-hoon and Yoon Young-chul show performances that exceed the merits of this composition during the camp, it is worth considering a change in the 5th starting pitcher. It is a hidden benefit that you can complete long relief and alternative selection calculations depending on whether you compete. This is KIA, who is in happy troubles.