Moon Dong-ju defeated Kim Do-young by decision in the highly anticipated ‘Moon-Kim War’.
Two of the top rookie draft picks in the 2022 KBO season faced off for the first time.
On June 6 at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, Hanwha’s Moon Dong-ju was the starting pitcher and KIA’s Kim Do-young was the third outfielder in a two-hitter.
Moon did not appear in a game against KIA last year and has appeared against KIA twice this season, but the matchup was canceled due to Kim’s injury.
Hanwha starting pitcher Moon Dong-ju and KIA’s Kim Do-young are battling it out.
In the top of the first inning, Moon threw six pitches to Kim, who lined one straight to shortstop. In his second at-bat in the fourth inning, he hit a three-pitch fastball to right field.
In the third at-bat of the sixth inning, Kim Do-young calmly drew a walk to advance in a seven-pitch battle with Moon Dong-joo.
Moon was replaced by Kim Bum-soo in the bottom of the sixth with Choi Hyung-woo batting with one out and the score 4-2. He pitched 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out one to earn the win.
Moon Dong-joo and Kim Do-young entered the KBO side-by-side in high school as regional rivals from Gwangju Jinheung High and Dongseong High, respectively.
In the 2022 rookie draft, when the regional tie system was in effect, KIA selected Kim Do-young, who was dubbed the “second Lee Jong-beom,” while the previous year’s bottom-ranked Hanwha got the hard-throwing Moon Dong-ju.
At the time, Moon Dong-ju said of Kim Do-young, “In a way, it motivates me to work harder because I’ve been pushed by Do-young. I hope we can work hard together and face each other in the pros as soon as possible.”
Both players’ first seasons did not go smoothly.
Kim caught the eye in the 2022 season’s exhibition games, batting .432 (19-for-44), but once the regular season began, he fell into a deep slump and was mostly a backup. In 103 games, he batted .237 with three home runs, 19 RBIs, 37 runs scored and 13 stolen bases, falling short of expectations.
Moon suffered a side injury before the start of the season and underwent a lengthy rehabilitation. He finished his first season with a 1-3 record and a 5.65 ERA in 13 games.
In the 2023 season, both players quickly settled down.
Kim suffered a fractured toe in April and made a spectacular comeback after a lengthy rehabilitation. Showcasing his long bat and speed, he hit .331 with two home runs, 13 RBIs, 24 runs scored, and nine stolen bases in 28 games.먹튀검증
In the starting rotation, Moon Dong-ju had a solid 6-7 record with a 3.48 ERA in 18 games through May, throwing 93 innings. With a fastball that tops out at 160 kilometers per hour, Moon has developed into a national ace as he has improved his command of his pitches and game management skills. Moon was also named to the Asian Games roster.
Fans are looking forward to watching these two, who are considered to be the future resources of the KBO League, grow in their rivalry.