. This is the story of Lee Yong-chan (NC Dinos), who became the third Taegeuk mark after the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games in 2018 and the Premier 12 in 2019.
Coach Lee Kang-cheol, who is preparing for the World Baseball Classic (WBC), is not lowering his guard against Japan and Australia, which he has to face in the first round. In particular, attention is focused on who will be the starting pitcher ahead of the match against Australia, where the importance of one win is emphasized as much as the match between 스포츠토토Korea and Japan.
Candidates include Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA Tigers), who tied the Australian lineup with no runs in the Premier 12 in 2019, and Ko Young-pyo (kt Wiz), who boasts a high-quality breaking ball. Here, the name of Lee Yong-chan, who played an active role as a finishing pitcher for his team last season, is also being discussed.
Why does coach Lee Kang-cheol consider Lee Yong-chan
as the starter? Last season, he pitched in 59 games and scored 60⅔innings, 3 wins, 3 losses, 22 saves, and an average ERA of 2.08. The ratio of strikeouts (61) and walks (13) (4.69) was also ideal. Last year was the first time since his pro debut (full-time season) that his strikeout/walk ratio was 4 or higher.
The power of his forkball stood out. According to Statties, a site specializing in KBO league records, Yong-chan Lee (15.0) ranked 4th in the field value category of last year’s forkball. 1st place Kim Min-woo (Hanwha Eagles 21.1), 2nd place Kim Gwang-hyeon (SSG Landers 18.5) and 3rd place Jang Min-jae (Hanwha 17.7) are all starting pitchers. that is what was presented. The forkball hit rate (0.210) was also decent.
Lee Yong-chan was a card that matched the situation of the national team. As he lost in the first match of the first round in both 2013 (3 times) and 2017 (4 times), he has a strong will to put the first button well this time. In other words, he intends to run 100% of his power against Australia.
One of the customized strategies for the match against Australia that the national team has established is the ‘injection of a fork bowler’. This is why Lee Yong-chan and Kim Won-joong (Lotte Giants) were on the final list. Both of them are pitchers who showed off their powerful pitches and at the same time used the forkball as their main weapon.
Another thing, Lee Yong-chan was active as a starting pitcher in the 2011 and 2012 seasons and the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Out of 440 games in the first team, 102 were pitched as a starter. If he is in good physical condition, he can expect good enough results even if he throws long.