Doosan’s ‘super rookie’ Kim Taek-yeon wins the Choi Dong-won Award after overcoming the ‘5-game controversy’, “If the team trusts you, you have to throw responsibly.”
Incheon High School pitcher Kim Taek-yeon (joined Doosan Bears) drew attention from fans by displaying a fighting spirit reminiscent of the late Choi Dong-won, the ‘iron arm’. Fittingly, Kim Taek-yeon, who was selected as the winner of the ‘High School Choi Dong-won Award’, mentioned Choi Dong-won’s ‘sense of responsibility’.
Kim Taek-yeon won the High School Choi Dong-won Award at the 10th ‘BNK Busan Bank Choi Dong-won Award’ and 6th ‘Presidential High School Choi Dong-won Award’ awards ceremony held at the BNK Busan Bank main branch in Munhyeon-dong, Nam-gu, Busan on the 17th.
Kim Taek-yeon, who received the award, expressed his feelings at a meeting before the awards ceremony, saying, “It was an award I really wanted to receive and an award I had a goal for, so I am very honored to receive it at such a great opportunity.”
Kim Taek-yeon pitched in 13 games in the high school baseball weekend league and national tournament this year, recording 7 wins, 1 loss, an ERA of 1.13, and 97 strikeouts in 64⅓ innings. Kim Taek-yeon, who is evaluated as having the best pitch control among high school pitchers, allowed 9 walks and only 1 pitched ball this year. He is highly regarded for his outstanding game management ability, sincere training attitude, and personality due to his aggressive pitching style with a top speed of 152 km/h and an average fastball in the upper 140 km/h range.
In particular, at this year’s U-18 World Youth Baseball Championship held in Taiwan, he showed his fighting spirit by going on the mound for five consecutive days until the final, winning the team a bronze medal. He took the mound as a starter in the final against the United States and pitched 7 scoreless innings with 9 strikeouts and a shutout victory. The Choi Dong-won Memorial Association said, “He is evaluated as the player who best demonstrated the ‘Choi Dong-won spirit’ of dedicating himself to the team.”
Kim Taek-yeon said, “I didn’t see Choi Dong-won’s actual throwing, but I watched him a lot through videos and media, and I think I need to prepare harder to become a player worthy of this award.” He said about Choi Dong-won, “I felt that he was a player who had a great sense of responsibility for the team. I thought he was a player who was devoted to the team and gave everything.”
Like Choi Dong-won, Kim Taek-yeon also fought hard for his team to the point where controversy arose. He said emphatically, “If the team trusts me, I think it’s natural to throw responsibly accordingly. It doesn’t mean that throwing a lot will hurt, so I think I can do it if I prepare well for that.”
How is your physical condition after joining the youth national team? Kim Taek-yeon said, “I’ve done all the medical tests and everything is fine, so I’m working out well right now. There were a lot of people who were worried and cheering me on, so it actually gave me a lot of strength. I don’t have any problems now, so I think it ended well with a happy ending. I also got a bronze medal.” “It’s good because it was a competition where I won and had a good experience,” he said with a smile.
Amid these performances, Kim Taek-yeon wore Doosan’s uniform as the second overall pick in the first round in the 2024 KBO League rookie draft. Although he is second in line, his contract deposit is 350 million won, the same as that of first choice Hwang Jun-seo (Jangchung High School, Hanwha designation), and Doosan put so much effort into making uniforms in advance.메이저사이트
Kim Taek-yeon said, “I heard that this is the first time that Doosan has made a uniform like this. I am so grateful that they think of me rather than the down payment issue because they are thinking about me that much.” He continued, “Fans will have high expectations, but we are preparing well and working hard now to meet their expectations starting next season.”
Lastly, Kim Taek-yeon mentioned team senior Kwak Bin as a role model and said, “A player who never gets sick, is consistent, and is always sincere. I want to become a player whose character is as important as his skills.”