An undrafted rookie… now one of the best pitchers in the league.

KT, a baseball team that was in last place at the beginning of June, is now in fourth place, seven games behind third-place NC in the league. The team’s rise has been fueled by solid starting pitching, most notably from “native ace” Ko Young-pyo (32). His seven innings of one-run ball against Jamsil Doosan on June 6 gave him 10 wins on the season (tied for fourth in the league). He lowered his ERA to 2.44 (3rd in the league). He ranks first in both wins and ERA among “native” players, excluding foreigners.

Ko’s biggest strength is his ability to throw long. He has thrown 125 and two-thirds innings, the fourth most in the league. When he goes out, he averages at least six innings. And reliably so. He’s had 10 straight quality starts (six or more innings pitched and three or fewer runs allowed). In 20 starts this season, 16 of them have been quality starts. The other key is his excellent command and aggressive pitching. He’s one of the slowest pitchers in the game, topping out around 140 mph on his fastball. He leads the league in strikeouts per nine innings with 0.72 and walks per nine innings with 1.0 among pitchers who have pitched in regulation. He has given up just 17 four-pitchers. “A quality start is a coveted record. I think that’s my mission and I aim for it,” he said, “I want to make more than 20 quality starts this year.”

Ko Young-pyo is actually an athlete with a waiting list. After graduating from Hwasun High School, he was not selected in the KBO rookie draft and chose to go to college (Dongguk University). However, he began to blossom in college, winning the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the KBO Governor’s Championship in his junior year (2012) and the Outstanding Pitcher of the Spring League National Championship in his senior year (2013), and was selected in the second round (10th overall) of the 2014 professional draft by upstart KT, fulfilling his wish to go pro.토토사이트

However, he struggled to adapt and struggled in the early stages, but after returning from military service as a social service worker in 2021, he realized his potential. After never pitching a full season (144 innings), he pitched 166 and two-thirds innings (11-6, 2.92) in 2021 and 182 and one-third innings (13-8, 3.26) last year. “I got my pitching direction during my service time. I trained with the goal of developing my fastball and becoming a pitcher with aggressive pitches.” The key to his success this season has been his ‘body ball’ delivery. “With a good fastball, I can vary my pitches, which has lowered my batting average,” he said. “I can face the same batter three or four times a game and change my pattern for each situation.”

Ko said he hopes his streak will be a “snowball” that makes the team stronger. He wants to create a “snowball of positivity,” such as when he goes long in a start to give the bullpen a break, which in turn allows them to win subsequent games. “The goal is No. 1,” he said, “but I don’t pay much attention to the team standings. If I do, I’ll get distracted.

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