Experts who analyze tracking data from 10 clubs do not hesitate to pick NC as one of the league’s most underrated bullpens. This is because other team bullpen pitchers may be higher, but there are many players armed with positive data values in the NC bullpen.
There are many young players who stand out in indicators that are not well visible to us, such as fastball speed and vertical movement, 꽁머니사이트 breaking ball movement, extension or appropriate release points, which can be seen as leading indicators of performance. It won’t all lead to grades, but at least it can mean rich potential. Considering the age of bullpen pitchers, which are the main players, many people are selected as the most anticipated bullpen in the next three years.
A representative player is right-hander Ryu Jin-wook (27). Ryu Jin-wook, who graduated from Busan High School and was nominated for NC’s second round (21st overall) in 2015, was a promising player armed with a brilliant career in high school. There was a time when he struggled without performing properly since joining the team, but he is exploding his potential this year after gaining experience in 44 games in 2021 and 51 games in 2022.
Ryu’s performance this year is literally the “best.” It is no exaggeration to say that he is performing better than any middle pitcher in the league. Ryu has pitched 41⅓ innings in 42 games of the season as of the 9th. Samples have been piled up this season. In this sample, the ERA is 1.31, the batting average is 0.123, and the number of hits per inning (WHIP) is 0.87. It is not a waste to add the modifier “untouchable.”
Although it has good potential, in fact, it cannot be said that it has led to grades until last year. He had a 4.86 ERA in 51 games last year. However, NC manager Kang In-kwon, who is the head coach, says that this year’s fastball speed is faster and he is getting better as he has confidence in his ball. Coach Kang also said Ryu Jin-wook’s growth was surprising, so it can be guessed given the shock that other team players will receive.
Ahead of the match against Incheon SSG on the 9th, coach Kang said, “Ryu Jin-wook’s pitch has improved so much. The ball type value of the ball, splitter, and throwing cutter is now high. “I’m throwing it at an important moment in the eighth inning, and I’m doing well enough to play my role,” he applauded. This suggests that Ryu Jin-wook is the most reliable player in front of closer Lee Yong-chan.
Coach Kang said, “The ups and downs on the mound (compared to before) have decreased a lot.” For now, I think I gained a little more confidence there as my speed increased. “The completeness of the forkball has also increased,” he said adding, “As the pitch values come out a little higher, he is showing good pitching content by showing himself more confident and bold than last year.”
According to the tally of “Trackman,” which provides tracking data to nine KBO League clubs, Ryu Jin-wook’s average speed of four-seam fastball last year was 147 kilometers per hour. This ball was fast enough, but this year it climbed to 148.7km. The player’s confidence can be doubled as he has already raised 2km more from the ball that is already fast. Cutter’s restraint has also improved to a similar level. In addition to the ball speed, the number of revolutions per minute (RPM) has increased by 60 more times, and in the case of breaking balls, improvement in horizontal movement is noticeable.
In other words, the ball got faster, the movement in front of the home plate got better, and the angle of the breaking ball got bigger. It can be very difficult for hitters who had Ryu Jin-wook’s ball in their heads last year. In particular, forkballs are often used to induce ground balls.
Following Ryu Jin-wook, NC has quite a few promising players who could ‘burst out’. Kim Si-hoon, Cho Min-seok, Kim Young-kyu and Kim Jin-ho boast faster ball movements above the league average. Based on “Trackman,” Ryu Jin-wook (152.3km), Kim Jin-ho (152.1km), Kim Young-kyu (150.4km), Kim Si-hoon (150.3km), and Lee Yong-joon (150.2km) have all recorded the highest speed of 150km per hour, which is also characterized by a collection of young pitchers who can look forward to in terms of pitching. It became interesting to see who will succeed Ryu Jin-wook. The dinosaur bullpen still has a little more to show.