ERA 1.88 ‘Geelong Fireman’… KIA-NC left-handed prospect duo, will they burst their potential?
Average ERA of 1.88. The Australian Professional Baseball League (ABL) Geelong Korea firefighter duo is drawing attention from fans.
Left-handed pitchers Kim Tae-hyeon (25, NC Dinos) and Choi Ji-min (20, KIA Tigers) were dispatched to Geelong during the off-season and are gaining a lot of experience. In charge of the team’s Pilseungjo, they are active with an average ERA of 1.88 side by side.
Kim Tae-hyun joined NC as the first nomination for the 2017 KBO League rookie draft. It was a nomination that had its own meaning for the team. From 2014 to 2016, NC nominated the 1st designated player at the national level with the benefit of the new team. In 2017, when the benefits ended, for the first time in the region, the first nomination was made, and the player was Kim Tae-hyun, a left-handed pitcher from Gimhae High School at the time.
Kim Tae-hyun received a lot of expectations. After completing the first year of his debut, he immediately passed the National Police Agency baseball team and solved his military problems. From the 2020 season, he returned to the team and received attention, such as joining the spring camp roster, but did not grow as much as expected due to the search for the first ball.
He started mainly as a relief pitcher and appeared in 121 games in the Futures League until last year, recording 10 holds, 13 saves, and an average ERA of 6.48 with 177⅔ innings. The 2022 season also shook with an average ERA of 7.24 in 16 games, 7 holds, and 46 innings in the Futures League.
Kim Tae-hyun took on the role of Pil Seung-jo in Geelong and created an opportunity for a reversal. Before the season, Geelong coach Lee Byeong-gyu expressed expectations for Kim Tae-hyun, saying, “I haven’t decided on a finishing pitcher, but I’ll try to use Ha Jun-su, Kim Tae-hyun, and Kim Seung-hyun, who were good in the match against Cheongbaek, first at important moments.”
The result was successful. He posted a 1.88 earned run average in 15 games, 3 holds and 2 saves in 14⅓ innings. He pitched in the most games on the team and together tied for the team in holds. The average ERA is the lowest along with Choi Ji-min.
Expectations are high for Choi Ji-min’s performance as well as Kim Tae-hyun’s strong pitching. Choi Ji-min wore a KIA uniform with the 5th overall ranking in the 2nd 1st round of the 2022 rookie draft.
His outstanding potential has attracted a lot of attention since his days at Gangneung High School. Last year, he spent his debut season and tasted the bitterness of his pro. He rocked the Futures League with a 7.04 earned run average in 35 games, 6 holds, and 38⅓ innings. Even in the six appearances he had with the first team, he failed to show impressive performances with an earned run average of 13.50 in six innings. 안전놀이터
In Geelong, he is showing pitching that has changed 180 degrees. He is cruising with an ERA of 1.88 in 13 games, 2 holds, 2 saves, and 14⅓ innings, gradually gaining zero points. He, like Kim Tae-hyun, is showing outstanding performance.
Both players are evaluated as having outstanding potential and talent, so much attention is being focused on their performance in Geelong. I wonder what kind of pitching Kim Tae-hyun and Choi Ji-min, who are slowly proving their potential, will show this year.