A new left-handed pitcher has appeared like a comet in the ‘left-handed kingdom’ KIA Tigers. Rookie Kwak Do-gyu (19), a left-handed three-quarters player, is not unusual.
Kwak Do-gyu, who graduated from Gongju High 안전놀이터School, wore a KIA uniform with the 42nd rank in the 5th round in the 2023 rookie draft. Kwak Do-gyu, who stood out at the Jeju Island Finishing Camp and the Hampyeong 2nd Army Camp, joined the 1st Army ahead of the demonstration game.
Kwak Do-kyu is a left-hander, but he has the rare quality of throwing the ball in a three-quarter form. He’s even quick on his speed. On the 11th, in his team’s own practice game, he drew attention by recording his fastball’s highest speed of 148 km / h.
Kwak Do-kyu leaves a strong impression in the demonstration game with his unique pitching form. On the 13th, his first appearance in the exhibition game, he blocked 1 inning perfectly against the Hanwha Eagles, and on the 15th, against the Kiwoom Heroes batting line, he pitched a good pitch with no hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts and no runs in 1 inning.
On the 19th, Kwak Do-gyu continued his strong pitching against Doosan in Gwangju. He pitched in the fourth inning with one out and tied Heo Gyeong-min with a first baseman grounder and Kim Jae-hwan with a catcher grounder. He threw the ball vigorously against the center hitter and finished the inning neatly. His demonstration game performance was 3 games, 2⅔ innings, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, and no runs. No hits and no runs.
KIA coach Kim Jong-guk said, “I will use (Kwak) Do-gyu as a middle pitcher this year. I prepared well and threw well against Doosan.” I will try to make good use of (Kwak) Do-gyu in the demonstration game. I will keep an eye on it.”
Next, regarding Kwak Do-gyu’s pitching form, “I lowered the angle of my arm a little. He said that the movement at the tip of the ball improved by lowering the arm like a three-quarters or sidearm. The angle of the arm is slightly higher than (Kim) Dae-yu, but the type is similar. Three-quarters and I think I can see through the sidearm.”
With the addition of Kwak Do-gyu, KIA’s available resources in the left-handed bullpen have become more abundant. Following Lee Joon-young, Kim Dae-yu, Kim Ki-hoon, Choi Ji-min, and Kim Yu-shin, Kwak Do-gyu joined. The command tower does not obsess over the left and right balance. Skills are the top priority.
Manager Kim said, “I mainly go for pitchers with good pitches and condition. In the demonstration game, I plan to put left-handed pitchers in line with right-handed batters. I will not unconditionally match left-handed pitchers with left-handed batters.”