Recently, LG coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop expressed his regret that the main bullpen pitchers in the team did not have a ‘decisive ball’ despite their excellent pitches. He diagnosed that the reason why the number of pitches increases more than necessary is also due to the absence of a deciding ball.

It is also like the trend of this era that there is no clear decision ball in the entire KBO league. Even though there are not many outstanding decision balls, I visited hitters in the KBO League to select a competitive decision ball. We asked 20 main hitters from 10 clubs for the ‘best deciding ball’ this season.

Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom, photo)’s slider was pointed out as the deciding ball on the first finger. Five out of 20 batters chose Ahn Woo-jin’s slider.

However, the second place was also attributed to Ahn Woo-jin. With the exception of An Woo-jin’s slider, most of the batters’ answers were scattered, and two batters picked An Woo-jin’s fastball as the best deciding ball in the league.

One of Team A’s main batters chose Ahn Woo-jin’s slider and said, “When I think of Ahn Woo-jin, I usually think of a fastball that can reach 160km, and the fastball is powerful, but I think the real weapon is the slider. He prepares at the timing of the fastball, and then when each big slider comes in, it is honestly not easy to respond.” Hitters said that An Woo-jin’s slider is excellent in speed, angle, and control. A player who guards the center batting line of Team B said, “It seems that Ahn Woo-jin only stands out for his pitch, but from the batter’s point of view, it is very difficult to throw from corner to corner. He is a pitcher who knows how to throw strikes where they need to be thrown.”

In fact, Ahn Woo-jin’s greatest strength is that even when the number of pitches approaches 100, the speed and pitch of his main pitches do not deteriorate. According to Statistics, An Woo-jin’s slider average velocity is 142 km, and his fastball average velocity is 154.6 km. He is a starting pitcher who throws 6 to 7 innings in each game, but this is where he can drop batters’ swing contact rates to the bottom. This season, An Woo-jin’s swing contact rate is 메이저사이트61.5%, which is by far the number one position regardless of position. In particular, the contact rate of balls outside the strike zone is only 43.2%.

Hanwha Moon Dong-joo, who rose rapidly this season, opened the era of 160 km per hour first, but this is why An Woo-jin’s fastball is still slightly better rated in the fastball fight. Moon Dong-ju’s average fastball speed this season was 152.1 km.

The type of pitch that received multiple votes besides Ahn Woo-jin was the two-seam fastball of sidearm Jung Woo-young (LG). Despite the simple repertoire, it was evaluated that the power of the ball itself was still threatening. Ko Woo-seok (LG) and Koo Chang-mo (NC) also received votes from two players each, but the pitches were dispersed. Go Woo-seok got one vote for his fastball and curveball, and Gu Chang-mo got one vote for his fastball and slider.

Other than these players, each received only one vote for one pitch. Perhaps, it also seemed to be flowing into the ‘era of the absence of a decisive ball’, where there is no strong decision ball that can lead the entire KBO league.

Falling forkballs combined with fastballs, such as Na Kyun-an (Lotte)’s forkball, Jung Cheol-won (Doosan)’s forkball, and Kim Min-woo’s (Hanwha) forkball, which emerged as the leader of Lotte’s starting lineup this season, still drew attention as key deciding pitches.

In addition to these pitches, pitches that would have paid attention to KBO league fans were discussed one by one.

At the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Ko Young-pyo (KT)’s changeup, So-Jun Sohn (KT)’s cut fastball, and David Buchanan (Samsung)’s cut fastball, which were hot topics among Japanese players, were mentioned. One player also voted for Albert Suarez (Samsung)’s two-seam fastball.

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