Evolving Yun Young-cheol, step by step even if it is slow

It’s not fast, but it’s step by step.

Professional baseball KIA’s 메이저놀이터“high school graduate” left-hander Yoon Young-cheol (19) diligently accumulates experience points. On the 27th, he started in the 3rd game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against NC held at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field and pitched 5 scoreless innings. Despite the team’s 5-0 victory, they were unable to win the first round, but Yoon Young-chul’s good pitching was a great comfort for the KIA.

The start was good. For the first time since his professional debut, he cleared his first inning with three batters in the top of the first inning. Continuing the momentum, a clean tripartite offense continued in the beginning of the second inning. 

A crisis has arrived. In the top of the 3rd inning, he gave up 1 out, 1st and 2nd base, and in the 4th inning, a fielder’s error and walk overlapped, giving up 2 out and 2 bases. However, he blocked the follow-up batter well to avoid my run. In the top of the 5th inning, lead hitter Ahn Joong-yeol got a hit, but Park Min-woo’s straight hit and a lucky double play helped him. Later, at the beginning of the 6th inning, he was replaced with Jang Hyun-sik and finished the game.

This is the first 5 innings of Yun Young-chul’s debut. Five innings is a meaningful number as it is one of the requirements for starting pitchers to win. In the previous two appearances, pitching was stopped in 3⅔ innings and 4⅓ innings. The conceded points were 5 and 2, respectively. In other words, on this day, Yoon Young-chul also pitched without a loss for the first time since his debut.

It may not be a great development. It was still difficult to control the stroke of the batter without the deciding ball. There was also a scene where the ball stretched out terribly when a fastball that was not supported by the restraint was attacked. However, what is clear is that he is showing a little bit better pitching.

The most notable numerical change is, of course, control. In the first appearance, against Kiwoom in Gocheok on the 15th, the strike-ball distribution was 43:38, and in the second appearance, against Samsung in Gwangju on the 21st, the distribution was 51:40. On this day, he scored 53-30. It’s not an ideal figure, but I can confirm that it’s slowly moving forward. Along with adapting to John, his breaking ball is gaining strength little by little.

The design of the helmet also had a clear concept. In his debut game, he pitched mainly with fastballs (54/81), but after struggling, he immediately went into correction. Slider weight increased. In the match against Samsung, he selected 38 fastballs and 39 sliders. And on this day, I mixed the two balls similarly with 34 fastballs and 32 sliders. For now, that choice is working.

From KIA’s point of view, it’s a pitching that tastes good. The most encouraging thing is that you can look forward to what comes next. Yoon Young-cheol is moving towards today, which is different from yesterday, even if it is slow.

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