Kim Taek-yeon (18, Incheon High School), who is considered the next-generation closing candidate for the Doosan Bears, responded that he was rather surprised by the controversy over the abuse at the 2023 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup.
After receiving the Best Pitcher Award in the Men’s High School category at the 2023 Baseball Softball Men’s Night held at the Seoul Garden Hotel in western Seoul on Monday, Kim Taek-yeon said, “I learned about the controversy (through an article later on), but I didn’t think it was a problem. If I had thought it was too much, I would have said yes, but I could have said yes, so I threw it because I wanted to. That’s why I didn’t think it was because of (Lee Young-bok),” in expressing his honest feelings.
Kim Taek-yeon, who is scheduled to graduate from Incheon High School, led his alma mater to the runner-up in the presidential race by posting 13 games, 7 wins and 1 loss with an ERA of 1.13 and 64 ⅓ innings with 97 strikeouts and a WHIP (per-inning on-base permit) of 0.66. At the 2023 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, he mainly pitched as a bullpen and contributed to Korea’s bronze medal harvest with two wins and an unbeaten ERA of 0.88 and 29 strikeouts in 16 innings. After consistently showing good performance throughout the year, he was nominated by the Doosan Bears as the second overall in the first round in the 2024 KBO League Rookie Draft.
Kim Taek-yeon, who picked this year as one of the top three players in baseball, said, “Because of this year, I received such a good award and received a professional nomination. It was a year where I experienced many things and felt a lot as I grew up,” adding, “The most memorable games this year are the semi-final match of the Presidential Cup against Mir and the bronze medal match against the U.S. at the World Cup of Baseball.” 랭크카지노
The 2023 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, which took place in September, was the biggest event that made Kim’s name known to the public and raised concerns among baseball fans. Kim threw the game against Taiwan (54 pitches) on April 2, the game against Australia (15 pitches), the game against Puerto Rico (40 pitches) on June 7, the game against the U.S. (16 pitches) on April 8, the game against the Netherlands (16 pitches) and the game against the U.S. on April 9, before throwing seven shutout innings (98 pitches) and striking out nine in the game against the U.S. and No. 3 and No. 4. He pitched 247 pitches in total over nine days.
Choongam High School coach Lee Young-bok, who led the national team at that time, was criticized a lot, but Kim Taek-yeon explained that there was no physical problem as it was carried out under thorough management. “Of course, there was no pain, and the trainers gave me a good massage after the game, so I could throw it without difficulty even the next day,” Kim Taek-yeon said with a smile. “Throwing like that day after day, I thought that I could throw well if I woke up and recovered well, rather than feeling tired.”
Despite the controversy, Kim Tae-yeon has elevated her stock price by demonstrating her skills and stamina on the international stage. Doosan has pointed out that it is possible to become a starting pitcher depending on whether it develops or not. Kim Tae-yeon also said he would abide by the team’s decision, but he showed ambition in both the starting pitcher and the closing pitcher.