“I wanted to take him to the national team.”
KT Wiz coach Lee Kang-cheol watched KT pitchers pitching in the bullpen on the 14th (hereafter Korean time), the day before the national team was summoned. For him, it was the last time he saw the pitching of KT pitchers in person, except for the practice game with the national team at the spring camp. On this day, young pitchers, not the main pitchers, pitched. Coach Lee smiled heartily as he watched them throw the ball. Sidearm rookie pitcher Kim Jeong-woon even talked about using his lower body when throwing.
On this day, there was a pitcher that coach Lee highly praised. This is Park Young-hyun, who is in his second year. Coach Lee said, “Park Young-hyun prepared well. The ball is so good. I wanted to take him to the national team.” 안전놀이터
Park Young-hyun stayed in the first team for the longest time among high school rookies last year. He was a middle pitcher, and since he started from the pursuit group and was included in the winning group only in the second half of the season, he did not receive much attention in the baseball world. He appeared in 52 games, going 1 loss and 2 holds, with an earned run average of 3.66.
It was in the postseason that Park Young-hyun left a mark on fans. It was Park Young-hyun who took over the baton from starter Wes Benjamin at the bottom of the 8th inning, leading 2-0 in the second round of the semi-playoff against Kiwoom Heroes. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Park Young-hyeon caught Kim Jun-wan, Lee Yong-gyu, and Lee Jung-hu with a three-way offense. He seemed to record a hold in the postseason as well, and he came out in the bottom of the ninth. He caught No. 4 Kim Hye-sung and No. 5 Yasiel Puir with consecutive left field flies, and caught pinch hitter Kim Woong-bin with a catcher foul fly to end the game. He made the hold a save.
At the age of 19 years and 6 days, he posted a postseason save, making him the youngest ever postseason saver, younger than Doosan Lim Tae-hun, who was 19 years and 25 days old. Park Yeong-hyeon took the mound in the beginning of the 7th inning in the 4th game and gave up 2 runs in 1⅔ innings, but added a hold. In the last 5th game, he took the mound as the last pitcher at the end of the 8th inning and blocked ⅔ innings with 1 hit and no run.
Park Young-hyun is included in the Pilseung Group this season as well. Finishing legend Oh Seung-hwan (Samsung Lions) is a role model, and KT is also one of the future finishing candidates. He is expected to improve in spring camp.