Australian Professional Baseball (ABL) Geelong Korea has emerged as the cradle of KBO league prospects. In the 2019-2020 season, pitcher Lee In-bok (Lotte), infielders Kim Min-soo (Lotte), Jeon Byeong-woo (Kiwoom), outfielders Hong Chang-ki, Lee Jae-won (above LG), Lim Ji-yeol (Kiwoom), Ko Seung-min (Lotte), etc. emerged as a player.
Among the players who have been to Geelong in the 2022-2023 season, there are many players who are looking forward to it. Pitchers Jang Jae-young (Kiwoom), Choi Ji-min (KIA), infielder Song Chan-eui (LG), and outfielder Ha Jae-hoon (SSG) raised expectations for the new season by using their performances in Australia as a stepping stone.
Even in Hanwha, which dispatched the most 15 players, there are many promising players who have had good experiences. Among pitchers, right-hander Jeong Yi-hwang (23) is representative. He pitched 33⅓ innings in 6 games as a starter, going 1-3 with a 4.86 earned run average and 28 strikeouts. He is 190 cm tall and throws a ball with a speed of up to 150 km, mixing a slider and a forkball.
Choi Won-ho, coach of Hanwha Futures, who watched Jeong Yi-hwang’s growth process last year, said, “I improved a lot after going to Australia. It seems to have been an upgraded opportunity.” It takes him a long time to warm up in the bullpen, but he is fine as a setup man as long as he gets the ball.” Positions are determined according to the movement of the 1st and 2nd teams during the demonstration game in mid-March.
Jeong Yi-hwang said, “I was in Australia for two months and it was fun because I tried a lot. He was the first to throw more than 100 balls. He was originally scheduled to throw around 90, but he said he would only pitch one more inning. He felt new,” he said. On December 17 last year, against the Melbourne Aces, he pitched 7 innings with 2 earned runs and threw a personal record of 108 pitches. After throwing 95 pitches through the 6th inning, he got on the mound in the 7th inning as well, and succeeded in pitching his first 7 innings with a three-way strikeout including two strikeouts. 먹튀검증
Jeong Yi-hwang’s first 100 or more pitches are significant in many ways. Jeong Yi-hwang, who was born in Busan High School and was nominated for Hanwha in the 23rd overall in the 2nd round of the 2nd round in 2019, was unable to pitch in both the 1st and 2nd teams while only rehabilitating from an elbow injury in the first year. He enlisted in the military during the 2020 season, and there was a gap until he was discharged in November 2021.
Last year, he spent a full season in the 2nd Division Futures League, developing a sense of actual combat and increasing the number of pitches in Australia and gaining experience dealing with foreign hitters. Jeong Yi-hwang said, “I threw a lot of manned pitches against powerful foreign hitters, and the results were good, so I gained confidence. He learned a lot by watching the exercise routines of other team players,” he said. “There are many good players after going to Geelong. I want to continue that,” he said.
Jeong Yi-hwang, who trained for a month at a personal training center in Daejeon at the recommendation of team senior Choi Jae-hoon after returning from Australia, said, “Senior bought me a sauna and rice and exercised. It was the hardest workout I’ve ever done. It was the first time I vomited while working out even though I like to exercise and do it a lot. He reached the limit in a different way and strengthened his body and mind.”
Jeong Yi-hwang, who is preparing for the season in Kochi, Japan, where the Futures Spring Camp is set up, aims to join the 2nd camp of the 1st team moving from Arizona, USA to Okinawa, Japan at the end of this month. “I’m not in a position to do that in line with the season opening in March. Jeong Yi-hwang, who said, “I will show it with all my strength from the start,” said, “His first team debut is his first goal. I will not think of anything else,” he said.