He has such high expectations. KIA, who had a reputation as the best left-hander in high school, showed his will to use him this season early, taking special care right after his nomination. Ahead of competition with outstanding first-team seniors, expectations are growing that he will go beyond competition survival and be reborn as an axis of the KIA mound.
Yoon Young-cheol recorded 13 wins and 2 안전놀이터 losses in 15 games, an average ERA of 1.66, 5 walks and 99 strikeouts at Chungam High School last year, right before joining the KIA. He not only has a fastball of 145km, but also has the ability to play long innings by mixing various breaking balls. From the time KIA nominated Yoon Young-cheol, the title of ‘future selection’ naturally followed.
His appearance reminds me of Lee Eui-ri (21), a senior who debuted in 2021 and won the Rookie of the Year title.
Lee Eui-ri, like Yun Young-chul, entered the professional stage with the title of the best left-handed pitcher in high school. He made a mark in the spring camp by throwing fastballs of over 145km without difficulty. Even in his actual game check, while continuing his good pitching, he was pointed out as a ‘second starting feeling’ by manager Matt Williams at the time. Coach Williams’ plan to include a rookie pitcher in the starting rotation over prominent seniors and foreign pitchers seemed a bit reckless. However, based on his outstanding performance in the first half, Lee Eui-ri was selected for the adult national team uniform and experienced two starts at the Tokyo Olympics, moving beyond the KIA and becoming a next-generation pitcher in the KBO league. After finishing the season that year, he was honored with the Tigers franchise rookie of the year 36 years after Lee Sun-cheol in 1985.
Yoon Young-cheol focused on managing his condition at the finishing camp last year. During his high school days, he focused on building up his stamina and recovering from accumulated fatigue by playing many innings. It is expected that his physical strength will be the first test subject in the spring camp, which goes through phased pitching and actual combat checks.
At the time of nomination Yoon Young-chul, KIA envisioned a build-up starting from the bullpen rather than starting immediately this season. However, this idea may change depending on Yoon Young-chul’s physical condition and pitching during the camp. Lee Eui-ri also showed good performance at the camp with the physical strength she developed based on off-season bulking up, and based on this, she achieved the result of entering the starting rotation. Yoon Young-cheol, who has similar qualities to Lee Eui-ri, can walk a similar path.