Thursday, 28th September 2023

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Lee Kang-cheol talks about his power, a ball that averages 134 kilometers and can’t be hit, and how it’s all about balance.

Young-pyo Ko (KT) has averaged just 134 kilometers on his fastball this season. However, batters are having a hard time hitting it. His ERA this season is 2.50. It ranks fifth in the league and right behind Kiwoom Ahn (2.31) among Korean starters.

KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said on the 2nd, “There is nothing more to praise about Ko Young-pyo.” The day before, Ko pitched a perfect game against SSG, throwing eight scoreless innings.

In the end, it’s all about pitches, and in the end, it’s all about balance.메이저놀이터

Lee Kang-cheol said, “Young-pyo can throw inside and outside pitches freely, and he can throw high and low. That’s why he holds on.” Add to that a league-leading changeup, and you have a fastball that averages less than 140 kilometers, and you have a fastball that can reach more than 150 kilometers.

In other words, if you don’t have the command and the ability to put the ball where you want it while easily exceeding 150 kilometers, it’s not easy to survive in the professional game. This is something he sees in young pitchers. He sees a lot of pitchers with high velocity, but they don’t have the basic balance.

You need to utilize your lower body to stabilize your release point and keep your pitches in play. If you pitch with your upper body, you may be able to get a steady release point as long as you have the power, but if you lose that power, your pitches are bound to be erratic, Lee explained.

Especially for student baseball players, Lee said, balance is more important than velocity. Once they’ve established their own solid form through repetitive shadow pitching, their velocity will naturally increase as they get bigger. This was true for Lee himself. When he was a sophomore in high school, his fastball was in the 120-kilometer range, but as he grew taller and put on weight in his junior year, he gained strength and velocity. But nowadays, he says, you have to have a fastball to catch the eye of a professional scout, which can lead to student-athletes focusing on their upper body instead of utilizing their lower body.

“I think if you learn the basics well from a young age and work your way up, you can be successful,” he emphasized. The basics, according to Lee, are balance and control.

The lower body-centered “balance run” is a tradition in Japanese baseball. On the other hand, there are many pitchers in the U.S. who throw the ball with their upper body instead of dragging their lower body forward. Just look at the foreign pitchers in the KBO.

“They have different physiques, so why would we need to copy that,” Lee said. While Korea does have the occasional player with an exceptional physique, they are the exception, and the majority of players don’t find it easy to follow “American” pitching.

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