Moon Dong-ju, 2nd year ‘WBC drop → Korea’s first 160km’, becomes a treasure of Japan’s enviable KBO

The most reaction from baseball fans while watching Japanese baseball at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) was ‘envy’. The reason for this was that pitchers who could throw balls as fast as 160 km per hour did not appear in Korea.

In Korea, there is finally a pitcher who can run 160km. 메이저놀이터It is Moon Dong-ju (20), a right pitcher in his second year with the Hanwha Eagles.

Moon Dong-ju started the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League away match against the KIA Tigers at the Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on the 12th and pitched 3 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts and 2 runs in 6 innings. The team’s batting line was silent and took on the yoke of defeat, but there was another one where all the spotlight was focused. It was an amazing restraint by Moon Dong-ju.

From the beginning of the game, Moon Dong-ju was chosen as the main character of the day. He turned three batters into KKK at the beginning of the first inning, and an incredible record was established. Moon Dong-joo, who turned first batter Ryu Ji-hyeok into a curveball with a large drop, struck out looking strikeout by stabbing second batter Park Chan-ho with a 160.1 km/h fastball into the middle on the third pitch.

It is the highest record thrown by a domestic player in the KBO League as measured by the Pitch Tracking System (PTS) operated by Sports 2I, the KBO’s official record statistics company. The PTS system has been in operation since 2011, and in fact, there are not many pitchers who have thrown in the mid-150km range before, so Moon Dong-ju’s record can be said to be the best ever in Korea.

The previous record was 158.7km, thrown by Lotte Giants Choi Dae-seong against Hanhwa Jang Seong-ho on September 7, 2012. Among active pitchers, Kiwoom Heroes’ Ahn Woo-jin threw the fastest ball at 158.4 km against SSG Landers in September last year. The fastest ball of all time is the 162.1km Redames Leeds ball thrown against SK Wyverns (predecessor of SSG) as a member of the LG Twins in September 2012. In 2016, Fabillo Castillo of Hanwha also threw a 160.4 km fast ball against the Doosan Bears. Moon Dong-ju, the third fastest ball in KBO league history.

What is more encouraging is that Moon Dong-ju is still a young player who is only in his second year as a pro. Moon Dong-ju, who made his professional debut as the first designated player of Hanwha last year, left regret with an ERA of 5.65 with 1 win, 3 losses and 2 holds in 13 games, but he was on the rise at the end of the season and was selected for the 2023 World Baseball Classic ( Ahead of the WBC), he was named on the list of 50 players to watch. There was also a view that his fast speed would work in the WBC if he supplemented it a little. However, in the end, he failed to establish a relationship with the national team.

He sharpened his teeth before this season. He was picked as a pitcher to watch by manager Carlos Subero from spring camp. His excellent fastball speed, as well as his mature training attitude and exemplary character, have been evaluated as a player to excel.

In the match against the Samsung Lions on the 6th, he threw only 70 pitches in 5 innings, giving up 1 hit, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, and a good pitch to win. It was a good fight even more since it was at the time when Hanwha was losing 4 times in a row.

On this day, as coach Subero had planned, he threw 92 pitches, but the team lost 0-2 due to the lack of support from other players, but it was a pitch that raised expectations for the future. The speed of the slider was recorded up to 146km, and the sharp falling curve adds to the power of the fastball. He is rapidly emerging as a pitcher who gives a sense of fear to batters.

Moreover, it is still early in the season and the recent weather is cold unlike previous years, so it is difficult to say that the pitchers are in normal condition. As the day gets warmer, the body loosens up more and the restraint increases. Baseball fans are interested in how much more power Moon Dong-ju’s fast ball, which has overcome the 160 km/h wall, can exert.

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