Incheon High School’s Kim Taek-yeon (18) talks about the intense interest from Doosan Bears fans.
Kim threw a two-inning, four-strikeout, no-hitter against Gyeonggi Commercial High School in the round of 16 of the 57th Presidential High School Baseball Tournament at Mokdong Stadium in Seoul on April 7. Incheon won the game 7-0 in a shutout thanks to Kim’s performance.
With runners on first and second in the bottom of the sixth inning with Incheon leading 4-0, Kim struck out Lim Jae-won, Jung Hee-jae, and Gong Gun-hee. In the seventh inning, he struck out Park Si-hyun and Lee Seo-joon and walked Shin Seung-min to end the game with a triple play.
After closing out the game, Kim said, “I always pitch in crunch time, so I’m enjoying it now. I’ve tried starting pitching and bullpen pitching. When I start, I learn how to manage the game, and when I throw short pitches as a reliever, like today, I show my strengths, and I think I’ve gained the ability to save the game.”
Kim topped out at 149 mph on the day. “Our speed gun showed 150 kilometers. There’s a difference between 149km and 150km,” Kim laughed, adding, “I don’t pay much attention to my fastball. I just check it after the game. However, in my last outing, I went 146km, so I think it’s positive that I’ve improved my body condition and increased my velocity. In my next outing, I will prepare well to improve my velocity,” he said.
“My most confident pitch is my fastball,” said Kim Taek-yeon, who added, “On a good day, I don’t worry too much about my velocity. During the game, I’m more concerned about the quality of the ball than the velocity.” “For my changeup, I throw a lot of sliders and curveballs. I’m still working on my changeup and splitter.”
Kim, who is 5-1 with a 1.24 ERA in 11 games (50⅔ innings) this year, has walked just six batters in 50⅔ innings. Only one has been hit by a pitch. He walks just 1.07 batters per nine innings.
“I’m getting more confident with my pitches, so even if I get hit, I’m fighting right away. If I’m lucky, I can get an out with one pitch. I try to go for the win right away because I think that a walk is a runner I don’t need to give up,” she said, explaining her secret to limiting walks.
The 2024 Rookie Draft also saw a major shift in the draft landscape as Jang Hyun-seok (Masan Yongmago), who was considered the biggest name in the draft, decided to go overseas. The top pick, Hanwha, is now likely to select left-hander Hwang Jun-seo (Jang Chung-go), and the second pick, Doosan, is widely expected to select Kim Taek-yeon.메이저놀이터
As the chances of Doosan’s selection increase, so does the interest in Kim among Doosan fans. “I’m feeling the excitement through the articles,” he said, “and my friends are all saying I’m going to Doosan. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being the center of attention as an athlete, so of course it feels good. But being in the spotlight like this, I think I have to improve with my skills.