The spring camp for each professional baseball club is the first gateway to the first team stage. Every year, many players wear professional uniforms with swollen dreams, but only a few promising players are lucky to accompany them to the first team camp from the first season.
A total of 20 rookies seized the opportunity this year, when the entire club went abroad for the first time in three years. KT Wiz sent the most 5 players to the 1st team camp, followed by SSG Landers with 4 players. The NC Dinos, Hanwha Eagles, Kiwoom Heroes, and Lotte Giants each selected two, and the LG Twins, KIA Tigers, and Doosan Bears each selected one as a first-team camp member. The Samsung Lions, where both the 1st and 2nd teams set up camp in Okinawa, Japan, dispatched all rookies to the 2nd team camp.
KT’s rookie pitchers Kim Jeong-woon and Kim Gun-woong, infielders Son Min-seok and Ryu Hyun-in, and outfielder Jung Joon-young will train with the first team in Arizona, USA. This season, as well as compared to past cases, is a remarkably high number. This is because of coach Lee Kang-cheol’s will to “see as many players as possible and check their potential.”
Kim Jeong-woon is a future ace who was nominated in the first round. He also played as a member of the youth national team. Jung Joon-young, Son Min-seok, and Kim Geon-woong, who were selected in turn from the 2nd to 4th rounds, are also highly anticipated by the coaching staff. Ryu Hyun-in, who was nominated in the 7th round, became famous after appearing on the JTBC baseball entertainment program ‘Strongest Baseball’. Although he was selected as the most junior among the 20 newcomers who joined the first team camp this season, he was recognized for his desperation for baseball.
KT was already pleased with the performance of Park Young-hyun, a rookie in the first nomination last year. Park Young-hyun, who successfully completed the first-team camp, established himself as a reliable bullpen pitcher from his first professional season, and also won the youngest save ever in the postseason.
SSG gave pitchers Lee Rowun and Song Youngjin, infielder Kim Minjun, and outfielder Kim Jungmin the opportunity to join the first-team camp. Roun Lee and Youngjin Song are future one-two punch prospects nominated in the first and second rounds. Kim Jung-min is also a third-round nominated rookie who received a down payment of 100 million won. The joining of Kim Min-joon, who was selected in the 7th round, stands out.
Hanwha will take pitcher Kim Seo-hyun, who was nominated with the first overall pick in this year’s rookie draft, and infielder Moon Hyun-bin, who was selected in the second round, to the first-team camp. Kim Seo-hyun drew attention by throwing fastballs reaching mid-to-late 150 km/h on the high school stage. Along with Moon Dong-ju, the rookie in the first nomination last year, he is evaluated as a pitcher who will be responsible for the future of Hanwha.
In NC, Shin Young-woo, the designated pitcher in the first round, and Lee Jun-ho, a new college graduate pitcher selected in the 6th round, headed to the first-team camp. For Kiwoom, 1st round designated pitcher Kim Kun-hee and 5th round designated outfielder Song Jae-seon boarded a plane to the United States. Song Jae-seon drew attention as a college graduate outfielder that Kiwoom picked for the first time in 7 years. 안전놀이터
KIA pitcher Yoon Young-cheol, Doosan catcher Yoon Jun-ho, and LG pitcher Park Myung-geun are the only rookies on the team who will have a first-team camp this year. Yoon Young-cheol, who was nominated as the second overall pick after Kim Seo-hyun, is a top-class left-handed prospect that KIA cherishes and manages. Last year, along with Kim Seo-hyun and Shim Jun-seok (Pittsburgh Pirates), he was selected as one of the ‘big 3 high school pitchers’.
Yoon Jun-ho is a hot newcomer who appeared together with new Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop in ‘The Strongest Baseball’. However, that relationship did not bring luck. Coach Lee said, “A lot of pitchers will be going to this camp, so we need a lot of catchers who train with us.”
Park Myung-geun was nominated in the 3rd round of the rookie draft, and even before he started, he was clearly noticed by rookie coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop. Director Yeom said, “It’s a basic pitch, and I know how to fight when I see it thrown. A breaking ball is not bad,” and raised expectations, saying, “It can enter the opening entry.”