After pitching more than 100 innings in his first year, Yoon Young-cheol (KIA) lost out on the KBO Rookie of the Year award to second-year middle reliever Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha). Despite the disappointment, Yoon was mature enough to accept the outcome, saying, “I was able to gain strength thanks to my brother (Moon) Dong-joo.”굿모닝토토 주소
Yoon received the ZOA Viton-A Award at the 2023 ZOA Pharmaceuticals Baseball Grand Prize Ceremony held at the Ellina Hotel in Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul on April 4.
Selected by KIA as the second pick in the first round of the 2023 rookie draft out of Chungam High School, Yoon lived up to the expectations of the club and fans by posting an 8-7 record with a 4.04 ERA in 25 games. Despite only being a high school rookie, he consistently worked his way into the starting rotation with his precise delivery and calm demeanor, resulting in seven quality starts in 122⅔ innings pitched.
After receiving the award, Yoon told the press, “I didn’t believe in myself, but the manager believed in me and used me. Thanks to him, I was able to receive such a good award and achieve results.” “I am very grateful to the coach for believing in me. I will do my best to live up to his expectations next year.”
The most satisfying statistic of his debut season was his innings. “I originally aimed for about 100 innings at the beginning of the season, but I threw more than 20 more innings than that,” Yoon said. The most important quality of a starting pitcher is innings, so I am satisfied with this year’s record,” he said with a satisfied smile.
However, Yoon did not win the KBO Rookie of the Year award for his performance. The once-in-a-lifetime honor went to Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha), who received 85 votes out of 111 from the journalists.
Despite the disappointment, Yoon said, “I don’t really care. “Honestly, I knew my brother (Moon) would get it,” he said, adding, “This year, thanks to my brother, we were able to compete with each other and gain a little more strength. I think it’s good,” he said, showing his mature mindset.
Moon Dong-joo also won the Rookie of the Year award at both the KBO Awards and the Joa Pharmaceutical Baseball Awards, saying, “I’m grateful and sorry to Yoon Young-chul. It helped me a lot during the season because he competed until the end. I hope we can continue to compete in good faith and create good synergy in the future,” he said.
Next season, Yoon plans to take the mound again, focusing on his strengths over his fastball. To that end, he also focused on improving his physical strength in the final camp.
“I had a lot of physical deficiencies this year, so I ran and lifted weights a lot in the final camp. I gained a lot of physical strength and corrected my pitching form.” “I still don’t have any greed for redemption. It will come slowly. It’s important to do what I can without getting injured rather than overdoing it.”
Finally, we asked Yoon what award he would like to receive at next season’s awards ceremony. He said, “I would be grateful to receive any award. However, I don’t know when it will be, but I would like to win the best pitcher award once.” He left a bold ambition.