Lotte’s Kim Jin-wook takes the 2nd division selection class

Lotte Giants left-hander Kim Jin-wook, who failed to join the opening entry, will focus on starting classes without a call-up for the first team for the time being. The decision takes into account both the future of the team and Kim’s style of play.

“I think Kim Jin-wook’s starting pitcher is more suitable for him first,” Lotte manager Kim Tae-hyung said ahead of the first game of the season against the Doosan Bears in the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 5th. “If you go up in the middle of the bullpen, you have to compete with one or two batters, and your control should not be shaken there. I think starting pitchers are more suitable for Kim Jin-wook than bullpen because they can cope with the next batter.”

Kim Jin-wook graduated from Gangneung High School in 2021 and joined Lotte as the first overall pick in the second round of the rookie draft. He was named the best pitcher early on due to his outstanding skills among pitchers of his age when he was an amateur.

While in his second year of Gangneung High School, Kim Jin-wook recorded an overwhelming record of 11 wins and 1 loss, 132 strikeouts and 1.58 ERA in 91 innings at official high school competitions. As a senior, he played in 10 games this year as well, recording 36 ⅔ and 1.70 ERA in high school games.

However, he has faced many challenges to become a professional. In 2021, when he made his debut in 49 games and 45 ⅔ innings, Kim Jin-wook failed to meet expectations with four wins and six losses, eight holds, and a 6.31 ERA. Although he made a surprise entrance to the final entry for the Tokyo Olympics, he failed to show steady growth. In the second year of the 2022 season, he had two wins and five losses, and a 6.56 ERA in 46 ⅔ innings in 14 games.

Kim Jin-wook started the 2023 season by fixing his position as a bullpen. He played well in the must-win group, but his final result was hardly good enough to give him a good score with 2 wins, 1 loss, 8 holds, and 6.44 ERA in 50 games and 36 ⅓ innings.

Kim Jin-wook has already entered his fourth year as a professional player, but he has not clearly established himself in Lotte’s pitching staff so far. Due to the team’s situation with a lot of pitching resources and his slow growth, he welcomed the opening of the regular season in the second division, not the first division, on the 23rd of 사설토토 last month.

Kim Jin-wook failed to impress Coach Kim Tae-hyung during the exhibition games. He had three hits, one walk, one strikeout and no run in two ⅔ innings, failing to give confidence to the coaching staff.

Naturally, in order for Kim Jin-wook to be listed on the first-team entry, he needs a result that the coaching staff can understand. As there are still many seasons left, he must calmly raise his pace and regain his ball control and control.

Lotte started the 2024 season with a rotation of five starting pitchers, followed by Aaron Wilkerson, Charlie Barnes, Park Se-woong, Na Kyun-an and Lee In-bok. However, Kim Jin-wook can only return to the mound at Sajik Baseball Stadium if he has a record that can appeal with his skills in the Futures League, as he always has to secure enough alternative starting resources when adjusting the starting rotation due to injury or cancellation of rain.


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