19-Year-Old Sidearm to Follow in Senior’s Footsteps in 2019 “Park Myung-keun aims to win Rookie of the Year”
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Can 19-year-old fastballer Park Myung-geun (LG) follow in the footsteps of his 2019 predecessor and win the Rookie of the Year award, and his manager has promised solid support?
Rookie sidearm pitcher Myung-geun Park, the 27th overall pick in the third round of the 2023 MLB Draft, has had a stellar start to the season. With a 1-4 record with three saves and a 2.95 ERA in 20 games, he has established himself as a stalwart of the LG bullpen.
While there are many strong Rookie of the Year candidates among this year’s rookies and newcomers, Park has been the standout performer in the bullpen.
Park’s performance since May has been particularly remarkable. He was highly touted by LG Twins manager Yoon Kyung-yeop from spring training, but struggled in April with a 4.66 ERA in two starts. However, in May, he completely opened his eyes with a 1-0 record with two saves and a 1.04 ERA.
Most importantly, Park took over the role of closer after the departure of Ko Woo-seok and earned his first save since his debut against the NC on the 3rd. Since then, he has continued to pitch in the closer’s role, accumulating three saves and two holds while showing a boldness and guts that is uncharacteristic of a rookie.
His performance has brought a smile to the face of LG coach Yeom Kyung-yeop, who has been convinced of his potential.
“When I saw him pitch in high school, I felt that he had a very good mentality. Even when I watched the video, I felt it very strongly. (The professional and amateur stages are different), but there is a difference between a player who has it and a player who doesn’t have it. I also saw that the adaptation can be quicker in the pros. Psychological signals are derived from the face. If you’re nervous, you can see it on your face, and if you’re saying, ‘I’m going to fight and win,’ it shows.” Yeom sees Park Myung-geun as a clear example of the latter, a “fighter’s face.
Technical improvements and new equipment have also contributed to the rapid growth of the rookie, who is just a high school graduate.
“The thing that has improved the most since coming to the pros is the changeup. The coaching staff decided that the most necessary pitch for (Park) Myung-geun was the changeup, and if he had it, he would have a much better chance of succeeding in the first team.” “I spent a lot of time in spring training on the changeup, starting with the grip, and working on it. I can throw it perfectly now,” Park said, expressing strong confidence in his changeup.
Another big change is the positioning of his stepping foot on the pitching plate. “Originally, he stepped on the right end of the plate, but he’s been moving it inward, game by game, pitch by pitch,” Yeom said. “Now he’s almost to the left end, and that approach is giving him a lot more variety in his pitches.”
As a sidearm pitcher, modifying his release point can provide hitters with a more unfamiliar pitch trajectory, while also allowing him to utilize different strike zones.
“As a sidearm pitcher with a release point on the right side, it’s very difficult to throw the ball on the body of a right-handed hitter, but by moving the pitching plate, we have more room to throw the ball on the body,” says Yeom, explaining that the first thing he did was to allow Park Myung-geun to throw on the body of a right-handed hitter.
There was one more advantage. “The pitching direction, or pitching tunnel, has completely changed,” says Yoon. “If you throw it from the right, it’s a ball, but if you throw it further inside, it’s a strike in the eyes of the batter,” he says. It makes a huge difference.”
In practice, Park uses his changeup as his primary pitch, throwing it in the following order: fastball (55.6%), changeup (22%), curve (19.2%), and slider (3.2%). Against left-handed batters, he has increased his changeup percentage to 37.8%.
Park’s changeup has a batting average of 0.217, which is actually lower than his fastball (0.235). In particular, he has been shutting down right-handed batters with his fastball (0.190 BABIP) and changeup (0.100 BABIP) combination, which has been the key to his success this season 스포츠토토.
Even with the return of Go Woo-seok and other top pitchers, Park’s place is secure. Furthermore, Yeom said that he plans to actively work on ‘making Park Myung-geun the rookie king’.
“Park Myung-geun is now a complete winner. I want him to win the Rookie of the Year award by performing well. From the beginning of this season, I started with the idea that the goal is for Park Myung-geun to win the Rookie of the Year. I had the idea that the better of the two, Park Myung-geun or Yoo Young-chan, would challenge for the Rookie of the Year. In the end, a coach should let his players win more titles. That’s the way to create more stars in our team. It increases the value of the player, and if the player’s confidence is boosted by the award, it can help them grow even more at the next level.”
Based on Yeom’s philosophy and his current form, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could become the next LG Lightspeed Sidearm Rookie of the Year, following in the footsteps of Jung Woo-young in 2019. Of course, he’ll have to outperform his current competition, but if he continues to show the promise that Park is showing in May and contributes to LG’s successful season, that goal will be that much closer.
Can 19-year-old fastballer Park Myung-geun (LG) follow in the footsteps of his 2019 predecessor and win the Rookie of the Year award, and his manager has promised solid support? Rookie sidearm pitcher Myung-geun Park, the 27th overall pick in the third round of the 2023 MLB Draft, has had a stellar start to the season.…