Eni Romero (32, SSG Landers), who watched the bullpen pitching of his new colleagues, mentioned two impressive players. The first person I admired was Kim Gwang-hyeon (35), and I was surprised once more in an unexpected place.
At the SSG 1st team spring camp held on the 11th (Korean time) in Vero Beach, Florida, USA, Romero said, “The first player I noticed was Kim Gwang-hyun. There are strengths, but I want to contribute to the team’s victory by learning the strengths of Kim Gwang-hyun, who is considered the best pitcher in the KBO League.”
The answer did not stop there. Romero praised, “The second is Lee Roun (19). I heard that he is a player who has just turned 20 (in Korean age), but I was surprised by his good command.”
Lee Rowun is a rookie who was 안전놀이터nominated by SSG with the 5th overall pick in the 1st round in the 2023 KBO Rookie Draft. As a right-handed orthodox pitcher with a fast ball of up to 151km per hour with his fastball, he is evaluated for his stable control and game management ability that allows him to compete with both left and right-handed batters.
In the recent bullpen pitching, a total of 41 pitches were thrown, including 24 fastballs, 8 sliders, 6 changeups, and 3 curveballs, and the speed of fastballs averaged 142.3 km per hour and reached a maximum of 146.9 km. Although his speed is not fast, Roun Lee’s control was attractive to Romero, who has played in 137 major league games.
Actually, I wasn’t the only one who had my eye on Romeo. All SSG officials who watched Lee Rowoon’s pitching praised him in unison. Oh Won-seok said, “I only saw him throw once or twice, but it felt like the ball kicked in. I think I’ll do well in the future.” Catcher Kim Min-sik, who received the ball directly from Lee Row-un, commented favorably, saying, “It seems that batters will not be able to hit it well because the fastball came in without a hitch.”
SSG coach Kim Won-hyeong also said, “We have to open the lid more. So far, we are showing a good performance like a first-round player. We are confident in the ball we throw. There is still a feeling that it is monotonous, but we can overcome that with our pitch.” Explained.
At the same time, he cited the childhood of SSG 2nd Team pitching coach Chae Byeong-yong (41), a junior of a similar build, as an example. Coach Chae Byung-yong, who won 84 victories in 451 games, was the main player who led the SK dynasty along with coach Kim during his active career. Director Kim said, “I also saw (Chae) Byeong-yong when I was young. Byeong-yong was good in terms of pitch, but in terms of restraint itself, (Lee) Roun-yi was superior to Byeong-yong,” highly evaluating his potential.