Putting down the former top prospect of SSG… Lee Kun-wook did his best, Kim Won-hyung kept his promise.

Lee Kun-wook (28‧SSG) has been a ‘sore finger’ for a long time to both the SSG club and fans. He played an active part as one of the aces of the youth team during Dongsan High School, and at the time of his joining, he drew a lot of attention as a bowl to lead the team’s future starting lineup. It was praised for being the largest fish found in the devastated Incheon farm.

He underwent elbow ligament reconstruction surgery (Tommy John surgery) upon joining, but this was also an atmosphere that was accepted as one step back in order to take two steps forward. For the future of this prospect, he was willing to invest for a year or two. Even at the time of his joining, the word ‘vertical movement’ was unfamiliar, but the power of his heavy fastball was recognized by all officials. The saying ‘Lee Kun-wook has a different pitch’ has been accepted as an absolute truth for a long time.

But it continued to hurt. His elbows and shoulders, as well as his entire body, were injured. He was only good in 2020, the last season he played under the name of SK. He entered as a substitute starter and showed potential by playing 27 games. But that was the end. He couldn’t go any further. He only played 5 games in 2021 and 1 team 1 last year. He has long since given up the title of the team’s key prospect.

Even during the period of continued sluggishness, SSG considered Lee Kun-wook as a starting resource. It took almost 10 years to give up ‘starter Lee Kun-wook’. But he was different ahead of this year. While Lee Kun-wook was sluggish, SSG’s starting lineup was maintaining its good status, and moreover, starting prospects were piled up one by one. The club recommended that he switch to the bullpen with the feeling that it was the last time. Lee Geon-wook accepted this without saying anything. There was an image of a time to show off his pride.

Lee Kun-wook said, “I was invited to switch to the bullpen at the end of last year, and I said I would do it. I didn’t have any special feelings. I prepared with the bullpen this year as well.” As a bullpen pitcher, I practiced throwing with all my might for the first time,” recalling the last offseason calmly. In fact, it was the last chance. He thought that if he couldn’t show his ball even with the bullpen, the only thing waiting for him was release.

Then the opportunity came. He trained diligently while his body was not in pain, and his pitching form was modified with the help of biomechanics. As a result of the biomechanics diagnosis, Lee Kun-wook lost a lot of energy during his pitching form. His upper and lower body leaned too far into the groove, and he couldn’t use all his strength. Lee Kun-wook tried to correct this part by not going to the real game for a while.

Lee Kun-wook said, “If you were going home when you stepped on it, now it feels like you are naturally moving toward first base and using more power. It’s not perfect right now, but I feel like I can get better. That’s why I think my velocity can get better.” It’s the same,” he said, drawing a positive future.

This kind of report was steadily going up to SSG director Kim Won-hyung. Director Kim, who was looking for the timing of Lee Kun-wook’s experiment, immediately wrote Lee Kun-wook when it was time to put in an alternative starter for the KIA game in Gwangju on May 10th. He gave up 3 runs in 4 innings. At the time, coach Kim said, “I’m secretly looking forward to it” before the game, but it wasn’t bad for him to be suddenly put in. Lee Kun-wook said, “(After switching to the bullpen), I practiced using a lot of strength from the start, so I used too much strength in the first inning. So it was difficult from the second inning.”

When coach Kim sent Lee Kun-wook down to the 2nd team, he ordered one. The power of his four-seam fastball was good for anyone to see. At the time of his joining, he could not rely on feeling, but now, the clear figure of ‘vertical movement’ was showing Lee Kun-wook’s pitch. He was also top of the team. Instead, he said, he wished he had increased the restraint of his main weapon, the slider, a bit more. Lee Kun-wook went down to the 2nd division and tried to solve this task. He was fitted with cutter castle sliders.

If the slider was taken from the late 120 km/h to the early 130 km/h, this cutter comes out from the mid-130 km to the late 130 km/h. Although the angle is less bent, Lee said, “Depending on the situation, both pitches can be used.” After going up to the first team again on May 26, he also showed a clear improvement in speed. With Trackman data, the ball was taken at a distance of up to 148 km. It was a speed that Lee Kun-wook had not shown in the first team. Coach Kim was also satisfied with the improved speed of the four-seam and slider, and Lee Kun-wook said, “I felt that the first team was not that far away.”먹튀검증

Coach Kim was originally thinking of Lee Kun-wook as the starting pitcher for the Incheon Samsung match on the 25th. It is vacant as Park Jong-hoon goes down to the 2nd team. This meant that his confidence in Lee Geun-wook was growing. However, Cho Seong-hoon, who got the opportunity first due to the re-registration deadline for Lee Kun-wook, decided to give him another chance as he threw well against Doosan in Jamsil on the 20th. However, the mere presence of Lee Kun-wook in coach Kim’s alternative selection concept symbolizes a much wider position than last year.

Lee Kun-wook was registered for the 1st team on the 24th when right-handed setup man Choi Min-joon went to the 2nd team due to an adductor muscle injury. Even if it is not until the substitute selection, he will be tested again as a multi-inning housekeeper who plays 1-2 innings. Whether he will survive in the first team or not is yet to be seen. But he said the opportunity just kept coming, and the preparations did everything they could. That is why he will be able to pitch without regret regardless of the outcome.

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