Kiwoom, which is challenging to win the first Korean series since its founding, drew attention for its aggressive power reinforcement in the offseason. After recruiting pitcher Won Jong-hyeon and outfielder Lee Hyeong-jong as outside free agents in 11 years, they brought in Panamanian right-hander Ariel Hurado (27) as a new foreign pitcher with a new cap of 1 million dollars. 

Hurado, a 188 cm 105 kg right-handed fastball pitcher, started playing baseball while growing up watching his father, who played an active left-handed pitcher in the Panama League. He was noticed as an up-and-comer from his Panamanian Little League days, and at the age of 13 he got into the Dominican Republic’s academy. After joining the Texas Rangers in 2012 with an international prospect contract, he came up to the major leagues in 2018. In 2019, he recorded an average ERA of 5.81 with 7 wins, 11 losses and 1 hold in 32 games (122⅓ innings), going back and forth between starting and saving. He sustained a collapsing Texas starting lineup with a 3.90 earned run average through June. 스포츠토토

After moving to the New York Mets in 2020, Rado underwent elbow ligament joint surgery in 2021 and rehabilitated for a whole year. After signing a minor contract with the Minnesota Twins in March of last year, he rebounded to some extent with an average ERA of 3.54, 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 save in 14 games (53⅓ innings) in Triple A from June, but there was no big league call-up, and he was called by Kiwoom this year to Korea. come. Born in 1996, at the age of 27, he decided to go to Korea at a relatively young age. 

Hurado, who is preparing for the new season by digesting spring camp in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, said, “There were several offers, but most of them were minor league contracts. He contacted Kiwoom through an agent, and it seemed like a good opportunity. Korea is a highly competitive league, so if you do well here, you can go back to the major leagues. I think it will be a special opportunity to have a new experience.” 

From his time playing in the major leagues, Hurado heard about Korean baseball relatively often. The impact of running with Korean outfielder Choo Shin-soo (SSG) in Texas in 2018-2019 is significant. Hurado said, “I played with Choo Shin-soo in Texas for two years, and we became good friends during the rehabilitation period. He also heard a lot about Korea from him. Choo Shin-soo asked me to come to Korea, but I didn’t know that I would actually come here and play. When I go to Korea, I want to meet Choo Shin-soo and talk a lot.” 

I am well aware that Kiwoom is a team aiming to win the Korean Series. Hurado said, “There is an important goal for the team to win. All the players I saw during the camp are impressive. It seems like a combination that helps each other. I think training mainly on basic skills will be a good foundation for the season,” he said. “I had dinner with coach Hong Won-ki, and I could feel the enthusiasm and burning passion for winning. I also feel a great sense of responsibility as I received a maximum annual salary of 1 million dollars for foreigners in the first year. I will do my best to win the team without getting hurt.”

Hurado is a rare pitcher in Kiwoom, where there have been many foreign pitchers including Eric Yokishi, who has been in his 5th year this year. His four-seam fastball velocity is up to 95 miles (152.9 km), but his main weapon is his two-seam fastball, which has the ability to induce ground balls. He is evaluated as stable in his command with his soft pitching form. 

After throwing 18 balls as the second pitcher in a simulation game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the 23rd (hereafter Korean time), Rado had two-seam (9), four-seam (5), curve (2), cutter, and changeup. (Above 1) were used in order. Maximum speed of 148km for both four-seam and two-seam. Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki said, “From the time of practice, he saw the movement and control of the ball well, and he saw it very well in the first game. He also has the ability to deal with left-handed batters.”  

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