At the Kiwoom Heroes finishing camp held in Wonju, Gangwon-do last year, there were three pitchers that stood out. One of them was right-handed pitcher Yang Ki-hyeon (25), who was nominated in the second round of the 2017 rookie draft.
Kiwoom Futures League coach Seol Jong-jin said in a phone call with Star News, “(Yang) Ki-hyun threw a little in the first team a few years ago, but he couldn’t play for a while due to a shoulder injury. It feels like the fear of injury has disappeared. I have the physical condition and condition to play as a middle pitcher in the first team right away,” he praised.
Yang Ki-hyun, who debuted in the first team in the 2019 season, showed potential with an average ERA of 3.86 in 24 games in the 2020 season. However, his performance did not follow. He attributed this to a sudden shoulder injury that lasted longer than expected. He was unable to play in the 2021 season due to rehabilitation, and was able to get on the mound only in August of last year. 먹튀검증
Yang Ki-hyun, who returned after about two years, completely erased concerns about the hiatus. He appeared in 12 Futures League games, recording 1 win, 1 loss and 2 saves, with an earned run average of 0.77. He cooked a hitter with two pitches, a fastball and a slider, even though his best velocity was not as good as in the past.
Even at his finishing camp, this was noticed. Coach Seol laughed, “I started throwing in the Futures League before I came to the finish camp, and I like active pitching. Even with a fast ball count, I pitch aggressively and coolly. The velocity is also up to 145 km/h, so I’m looking forward to playing in the 2023 season.”
If Yang Ki-hyun takes his place as a starting player in the first team, the 2017 rookie draft of Kiwoom, which is already called the best of all time, is expected to become a legend. Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom 1st nomination) is the 2022 KBO League MVP, and Kim Hye-seong (24, Kiwoom 2nd 1R) has already left a strong mark as the KBO League’s first shortstop-second baseman Golden Glove winner. Pil Seung-jo Kim Jae-woong (25, Kiwoom 2nd 6R) was also reborn as a finisher last year and was also listed on the preliminary list for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). Even the trade hit the jackpot, so Lee Seung-ho (24, KIA 2nd 1R) wore the Taegeuk mark once and showed potential in the bullpen last year.
He is silently waiting for his return to the Gocheok Dome in the 2023 season with a promising new weapon that has erased his fear of injury. Coach Seol said, “(Yang) Ki-hyun’s point to improve is that he has a fastball-slider two-pitch, but he’s been trying to install a changeup or splitter recently.