The winner of this year’s Daesoon High School Choi Dong-won Award, which recognizes the best pitcher in Korean high school baseball, has been announced. The winner is Kim Taek-yeon, a right-hander from Incheon High School who was the ace of the youth national team.
The Choi Dong-won Memorial Project (Chairman Cho Woo-hyun), which organizes the Choi Dong-won Award, announced today that it has selected Incheon High School’s Kim Taek-yeon as the winner of the 6th Daejeon High School Choi Dong-won Award.
Five pitchers, including Jeon Mir (Gyeongbuk High School), Cho Dae-hyun (Gangneung High School), Park Gun-woo (Chungam High School), and Jeong Hee-soo (Cheonan CS), were nominated for the 6th Daejeon High School Choi Dong-won Award, which recognizes the most outstanding performances in high school baseball this year.
The nominees were selected based on five criteria: (1) 15 or more games pitched, (2) 50 or more innings pitched, (3) four or more wins, (4) an ERA of 2.60 or less, and (5) 55 or more strikeouts.
“We sent the list of five finalists to the Korea Baseball Organization’s scouting council,” said Kang Jin-soo, secretary general of the commemorative project, “and Kim Taek-yeon received an overwhelming majority of votes from the scouts of the 10 clubs in the council.”
The six-time honoree pitched in 13 high school weekend league and national tournament games this year, posting a 7-1 record with a 1.13 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 64.1 innings.
Possessing one of the best pitches in high school baseball, Kim has allowed just nine walks and one hit-by-pitch this year. With a top speed of 152 km/h and an average fastball in the low 140 km/h range, Kim’s aggressive pitching style has earned him high praise for his excellent game management skills, diligent work ethic, and character.
At this year’s U-18 World Youth Baseball Championship in Taiwan, he pitched five consecutive days on the mound before the final, helping his team win the bronze medal.
In the final game against the United States, he pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out nine to earn a complete game victory. He was recognized as the player who best exemplified the “go-getter” mentality of dedication to the team.
Scouts from 10 major league baseball teams reportedly gave him the highest score among the high school Choi Dong-won Award candidates.
Kim Taek-yeon, who was selected as the winner of the Daejeon High School Choi Dong-won Award, said, “It’s a moment that every high school baseball player dreams of at least once. Two years ago, when I was a freshman, my schoolmate (Yoon) Tae-hyun saw his brother win the Choi Dong-won Award and thought it was really cool. From then on, I decided, ‘I will definitely win that award in the remaining two years of high school,’” he said, “so the award is even more valuable and meaningful now.”
Kim continued, “I know what kind of person Choi Dong-won is. Although I didn’t get to see him play baseball in person, I’ve seen him play a lot through videos and media, and I’ve been impressed by his legendary qualities, such as setting records that can’t be broken anymore and dedicating himself to his team.” “I’m honored to receive an award with his name on it, but I also feel responsible. I vowed to become a great player not only in terms of skill but also in terms of character, so that I can become someone like Choi Dong-won.”
“There are so many great players in high school baseball this year that I thought, ‘It won’t be strange no matter who wins the award,’” said Kim, who showed humility, “I will prove myself by throwing hard one step at a time, rather than thinking about the rookie of the year or a specific record. There are many expectations from me, and I will do my best to prepare well during the upcoming winter so that I can live up to those expectations next year.”
The prize for the Daesoon High School Choi Dong-won Award is 10 million won. The award, which is sponsored by Busan’s leading company Daesoon Foundry Co. for the development of high school baseball, is worth 10 million won, with 5 million won going to the winner, Kim Taek-yeon, as a scholarship, and 5 million won to his school, Incheon High School Baseball Club.토토사이트
The “6th Daesoo High School Choi Dong-won Award” ceremony will be held on October 17 at 2:40 p.m. at the headquarters of BNK Busan Bank in Munhyeon-dong, along with the “10th BNK Busan Bank Choi Dong-won Award,” which recognizes the best pitcher in baseball.