“I rested well and recovered, so I’m fine now.” Kim Taek-yeon of Incheon High School, the hero of the five-game grueling series, smiled broadly as he donned the Doosan Bears uniform as the second overall pick in the rookie draft.
The 2024 KBO Rookie Draft was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Chosun Hotel in Sogong, Seoul on Thursday. With the second overall pick, Doosan general manager Kim Tae-ryong selected right-hander Kim Taek-yeon from Incheon High School.토토사이트
The 6-foot-2, 184-pound right-hander was described as a talented high school pitcher who overpowered hitters with a 153-kilometer fastball.
In the high school league this season, he went 7-1 with a 1.13 ERA in 13 games and 64.1 innings pitched, with 10 four-hitters and 97 strikeouts to just 10 walks.
Kim, who recently won a bronze medal at the U18 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan with a stellar performance, is known for his consistency. His 150-plus mph fastball digs into the mitt with more force than it shows. The ball’s rotation and vertical movement are said to be among the best among professional pitchers.
After pitching in six games in eight days, Kim became the center of controversy when he threw five shutouts. He threw a total of 247 pitches. At the tournament, Kim, who wore the Korean flag at a young age, went 2-0 with a 0.88 ERA in 16 innings, splitting time between the starting rotation and the bullpen.
Kim started the bronze medal game against the United States and threw a seven-inning complete game shutout with 98 pitches, two walks and nine strikeouts to win the bronze medal.
Entering the rookie draft with a nervous look on his face, Incheon’s Kim sat with Busan’s Won Sang-hyun, Whimun’s Kim Hwi-gun and Jangchung’s Hwang Jun-seo as they waited for their draft order.
When Hwang Jun-seo, the first overall pick and wearing a Hanwha Eagles jersey, returned to his seat, Kim applauded and congratulated his friend with a fist bump.
Soon after, Doosan Bears general manager Kim Tae-ryong, who had the second pick, took the microphone and called out Incheon High’s Kim Taek-yeon. When his name was called, Kim looked nervous as he took the stage. Kim personally put on a Doosan jersey with “2024 Kim Taek-yeon” on it.
Speaking about why he chose Incheon High’s Kim, Kim said, “We’ve been following a lot of players, but Kim has been consistent from the spring to the recent Baseball World Cup. It was good to see him stay injury-free and maintain his good ball and speed. We expect him to develop into a stopper in the next two to three years.”
After being handed the microphone, Doo Taek-yeon (Doosan Bears + Kim Taek-yeon) said, “I’ve been dreaming of this position since I was a kid, and I’m so honored to be selected by a great team like the Doosan Bears. I tried not to think about it as much as possible, but I was nervous and excited, so I couldn’t sleep,” he said, explaining his nervousness on the eve of the draft.
Kim, who wore a special jersey with his name on it at the draft, said, “I still have a lot to learn, but I will do my best to grow up and throw the ball on the Doosan mound as soon as possible.”
“I went home after the tournament and rested and recovered, so I’m fine now,” Kim said of the controversy over his five-game streak.
“I want to be the first Kim Taek-yeon, not the second,” he said, and we look forward to seeing what he will do on the mound in Jamsil in 2024.