Foreign pitcher duo and slugging power that will determine the fate of professional baseball KIA

February 19, 2023 0 Comments

 It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of the KIA Tigers in professional baseball in the 2023 season is influenced by foreign right-handed pitchers Sean Anderson (29) and Adonis Medina (27).

KIA coach Kim Jong-guk, who is training at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, USA, said, “I hope both pitchers throw more than 300 pitching innings.”

In other words, he asked for the most innings pitched to help the starting and bullpen lines more than the number of wins.

In an interview with Korean reporters on the 18th (Korean time), Medina said, “When I played in the Dominican Republic, I threw more than 180 innings in one season,” promising a goal of 15 wins and as many innings as possible.

Anderson also said, “I threw 141⅓ innings (minor league) in one season on the professional stage,” he said.

Anderson threw a cannon ball fastball with a slider, and Medina explained that his main weapon was a sinker-type two-seam fastball.

Anderson introduced that he has been working in Stove League to reduce his dependence on the slider and perfectly control the five pitches he can throw.

Coach Kim said that seeing Medina’s soft pitching form reminded him of Hector Noesi, who was credited with winning the Korean Series of the KIA.

If the two pitchers record the most individual innings in this year’s KBO League, coach Kim’s wish will come true easily.

The test stage to measure this is the practice game against domestic professional baseball teams Hanwha Eagles, Samsung Lions and Lotte Giants to be held at the end of this month in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

Manager Kim said, “You can judge accurately by seeing how the two pitchers play against the tenacious hitters in Korea,” and said that he would spare them in the three practice games held in Tucson and send them to Okinawa.

KIA completed the selection of foreign pitchers more than a month earlier than last year. Last year, it was announced only in January that Sean Nolin was recruited and the composition of foreign players was completed, but this time, the foreign player contract was completed before 2022 passed.

Unlike last year, when recruiting was difficult, this time, the expectations placed on Anderson and Medina are different as they signed a contract with a player who was on the candidate list early.

When the two pitchers successfully take root in the KBO League, KIA thinks about the happy selection.

Like the LG Twins in 2022, which launched Casey Kelly and Adam Plutko’s one-two punch, Anderson and Medina can be put in order to build a strong first and second starter.

It is also possible to appoint


Yang Hyeon-jong and Lee Eui-ri, who have reserved two starting positions, between the two foreign players. In this way, you can enjoy the double effect of making the 3rd and 4th starters stronger in the starting rotation that looks good from right to left to right to left.

Of course, this is the best scenario that can be drawn assuming that Anderson and Medina have an 80-90% win rate.

If the two pitchers fall short of expectations, there is a high possibility that KIA will make a replacement match early.

The club is also considering Plan B, which hurriedly selects stronger foreign pitchers in order not to repeat last year’s failures, which were marked by injuries and sluggishness of foreign starting pitchers and accompanying injuries of the winning team.

The increase in team slugging power is also linked to foreign players.

Socrates Brito, a foreign player renewed by KIA, is more of an alternate hitter than a long hitter. He made his KBO league debut last year, batting 0.311 and running 17 cannons.

Director Kim Jong-guk expected, “If Socrates, who has a serious personality and excellent swing mechanism, is not injured, he will do well this year, his second year.”

If Socrates achieves more advanced batting results as coach Kim wishes, the cohesiveness of the KIA batting line will also improve compared to last year.

However, if long hits such as home runs do not explode, KIA should turn its eyes to other foreign players with cannon skills.

In June, center fielder Choi Won-joon, who is a built-in top hitter in batting and on-base percentage, is discharged from the management, so the KIA club’s range of options can expand.

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