“Come to think of it, it’s a good opportunity…” 28-year-old right-hander from KIA has a mental breakdown in Okinawa, and he doesn’t know baseball or life

January 10, 2024 | by

“When I woke up, I thought it was a good opportunity for me.”

NC Dinos right-hander Kim Jae-yeol (28) was making the list of the KIA Tigers’ 2023 Okinawa closing camp and was training normally. Then, the second draft was held, and he was informed that he was going to NC. Whenever anyone suddenly encounters such a situation, a mental breakdown comes in.

After the New Year’s greeting ceremony on the 8th, Kim Jae-yeol said, “I went to Okinawa for the closing camp, so I thought it would be 100% tied up. I never imagined I would go to another team. But I was embarrassed to hear the news all of a sudden.” He packed his bags and said goodbye to KIA people, before returning to Korea and joining NC.

After graduating from Busan High School, he joined the Lotte Giants as the 71st player in the second round of the seventh round in 2014, but he made his debut in the Kia Tigers in 2020. He had two wins, three losses and one save and seven hold ERA in 94 games over the past four years in KIA, which was not very noticeable.

In 2022, there were sections where Jeon Sang-hyun, Jang Hyun-sik, and closing pitcher Jung Hae-young performed well as the winning pitcher group due to minor injuries. However, it did not last long. In reality, it was difficult to secure Kim Jae-yeol’s position in KIA, which has good bullpen depth.

So Kim Jae-yeol said, “It’s a good opportunity to wake up. I think I’ve received a new good opportunity. It’s a year that I’m looking forward to. My home is still in Busan. I’ve become close to my family. In many ways, good opportunities have come. Heaven seems to help.”

As Kim Jae-yeol said, NCs new pace bullpen needs more space than Kias. Of course, left-hander Kim Young-gyu, right-hander Ryu Jin-wook, and closer Lee Yong-chan are in a solid pitching group. However, Kim Young-gyu was included in the candidate list for selection this year. Kim Si-hoon, who is seeking revival, is also a candidate for selection.

Since there is a possibility that some of the young bullpens will be in the starting lineup, situations where bullpen replenishment may naturally occur. In addition, manager Kang In-kwon said, “Kim Jae-yeol is also in the starting competition for now.” This means preparing him to throw long innings for now.

Based on Statistics Korea`s baseball statistics website last year, his average speed of fastballs was 143.4 kilometers, which was average. Instead, he used both curves and fork balls. He has certain weapons. “I have faced NC Dinos a lot in the second division and joined the first division, giving good impression to them. I think I did a good job in the game against NC Dinos. 마카오카지노 Thank you for your favorable comments,” Kim said.

The good memories of 2022 still remain. “It was always a losing battle. It was a given opportunity while going back and forth between the first and second teams. I thought I had to catch it unconditionally. As all of the winning teams were excluded, I had to go out unconditionally, and I have that kind of responsibility for the first time, and I think it’s good. Responsibility brings a lot of performance and concentration.” It is true that the chasing team is less motivated.

He also pitched as a starter in the KIA second tier last year. As for NC, Kim is expected to use Kim in various ways. “I prepared to start for the first time in the second tier, which was good. I threw as a starter in the second tier, but I couldn’t start in the first tier, which was why my routine didn’t suit me,” Kim said.

Kim Jae-yeol made sure that he displayed his sales performance. “I started as a starter and had an impact in the middle of the production year. I can do well in any position if I have the opportunity. It is always possible to move to the middle while starting. The team also said that they need to start, so they can do well as they have experience even if they move towards the bullpen. As a starting pitcher, I did not feel comfortable using a curve ball. With the help of second-tier coach Son Seung-rak, I saved a lot of curves. As I gained control, I gained competitiveness.”

Finally, Kim Jae-yeol said, “When I came to NC, there were many seniors and juniors directly in elementary, middle, and high school. I feel like I’ve already adjusted. There is no inconvenience because people around me are so good.”


View all

view all