Hanwha Eagles rookie Kim Seo-hyun (19) has been removed from the first team roster.
Hanwha removed Seo-hyun Kim from the roster ahead of their game against the Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Monday. Song Yoon-jun, who won 15 games last year and was the Futures Most Valuable Player, was called up for the first time.
Kim came in as the second pitcher in 스포츠토토 the seventh inning of the previous day’s game against Doosan with the team leading 3-1 and gave up two runs in ⅓ of an inning on a walk and a hit-by-pitch, leading to the team’s 3-6 loss.
“Yesterday, he came out and pitched, and he looked around a lot. He’s not normally that kind of player. When I saw that, I could sense, ‘Oh, he’s really struggling. He needs to make adjustments,” Choi said.
Kim Seo-hyun is a big-time prospect who was selected by Hanwha with the first overall pick in the 2023 rookie draft. He impressed teams in high school with his fastball.
The problem is his fastball. In this year’s exhibition games, he appeared in five games and threw five innings, giving up four walks and two batted balls. As a result, he was denied a spot on the opening day roster and made his first appearance on April 19.
When he finally made his professional debut, Kim established himself in the starting rotation with a fastball in the 150-kilometer-per-hour range, most notably in his debut on April 19 against Jamsil, where he threw one inning of two-hit ball and struck out two, topping out at 160.1 km/h by Trackman. In 18 games this season, he pitched 17⅔ innings with one save and a 5.60 ERA. However, he was still hampered by control issues. In four games in June, he allowed five runs on three hits in 2⅔ innings. He gave up seven walks and two batted balls.
Choi said, “Kim Seo-hyun is a player that we need to take special care of. For that, we need to train systematically. We need to do some pitching training in between games rather than just continuing the game. We decided to start her with the second team in order to find her feel while increasing the number of pitches. I decided to overhaul my body, mind, and technique.”
Choi Won-ho also sent Kim Seo-hyun down to the second team with one message. “He said, ‘I’m sure you’ll be the best pitcher in Dongju (Moon) and Korea in the future. I told him, ‘I’m sure you’ll be the best pitcher in Dongju and Korea in the future. The things you’re working on now in the second team are part of the process of becoming a superstar,'” Choi said, adding, “I’m sorry if I put you in a more difficult situation.” “He’s been a baseball player since he was a kid. He’s always pitched well and done well, but I’ve never seen him like yesterday. I’ll wait for him to recover well in the second team and come up,” and hoped for a rebound.
A start in the second team does not guarantee a spot in the starting lineup going forward. When he returns to the first team, his position is still undecided. However, Choi felt that using her as a backup could hurt her pride after being the top player in high school.
Choi said, “We’re going to systematize by putting her in the starting lineup. We’ll see how Seo-hyun does and decide whether to keep her in the bullpen or turn her into a starter after discussing it with the coaching staff.”