“San Diego Man” Ko Woo-seok (26-San Diego Padres) predicted the success of Yoo Young-chan (27), who succeeded him as the LG closer. Yoo is a rookie entering his second year with just one career save.

At the LG Twins’ New Year’s Greeting Ceremony at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Jan. 5, LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop announced Yoo as the successor to Ko Woo-seok, who went on to the major leagues.

“I think Yoo Young-chan will do a good job. Of course, baseball doesn’t go as expected. Obviously, Young-chan may have difficulties. The most important thing is for the manager and the coaching staff to help him overcome those difficulties and make it a year where he can establish himself as a save pitcher. That will make us a better, more organized team next season.”

The former Bae Myung-go-Keonkuk University student realized his professional dream with the 43rd overall pick in the second round of the 2020 LG Baseball Draft, but not many LG fans knew his name until 2022. He bounced around the Futures League without making his first-team debut before fulfilling his military obligation as a social service worker. 토토사이트 His performance in the Futures League after being called up was also unremarkable, with a 4.50 ERA in 12 games with one loss and three holds.

Using his second-team experience as a springboard for 2022

Yoo pitched well in spring training and exhibition games last year. He earned a spot on the opening day roster for the first time in his career and made a successful debut with a one-hit shutout in the opening game against KT on April 1. After finishing the month of April with a 3.52 ERA in 12 games, Yoo picked up back-to-back holds on May 2 and 3 against the Changwon NC, signaling the birth of a new pitching staff.

The biggest key to his success was an increase in velocity. Yoo, who threw a mediocre fastball in the mid-to-high 130 kilometers per hour (km/h) before joining the team, became a fireballer with a fastball that reached up to 150 km/h after being called up. After introducing a lower-body-oriented training regimen in camp, his velocity increased as he gained more experience.

After successfully completing his rookie year with a 6-3 record in 67 games, one save, and a 3.44 ERA in 12 appearances, Yoo became a key player in the Korean Series, where he went 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in three games, helping Korea win its first title in 29 years. Yoo was named the MVP of the Korean Series by manager Yoon Kyung-yeop, earned 10 million won in prize money, and was the highest paid pitcher in salary negotiations for the 2024 season.

Heading to the United States to fulfill his dream of becoming a big leaguer

Go Woo-seok predicted the success of his three-year pro and one-year-old brother, Yoo Young-chan. “I’m sure (Yoo) will do well, no doubt about it,” said Ko, who returned home through Incheon International Airport Terminal 2 on June 6 after signing a contract with San Diego.

The first overall pick of LG in the 2017 rookie draft, Go Woo-seok has served as LG’s closer since 2019. In seven seasons, he has a 19-26 record with a 3.18 ERA in 354 games, 139 saves and six shutouts, and won the league’s best closer title for the first time in 2022 with a 1.48 ERA and 42 saves.

Last year, lingering injuries, including a neck and shoulder injury suffered in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, limited his year to a 3-8 record with 15 saves in 44 games and a 3.68 ERA. He also struggled in the Korean Series, going 1-1 with an 8.31 ERA in four games, but won his first championship ring after helping the team win its first title in 29 years since 1994.

LG has developed a number of pitchers who will be responsible for the next decade, including last year’s rookie Park Myung-geun, the returning Ham Deok-ju and fireballer Baek Seung-hyun. The eventual winner of the race to succeed Ko Woo-seok was Yoo Young-chan, 토토사이트 순위 who became LG’s biggest hit last year. It will be interesting to see if he can make the leap to becoming the closers that his predecessor endorsed and lead the team to a second consecutive title in 2024.

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