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KIA's former fireballer, now 31, wonders why he can't catch a pitch

Han Seung-hyuk (31-Hanhwa), once touted as the KBO's next fireballer, is now 31 years old. He has been labeled as an unfinished pitcher for more than a decade after joining the professional ranks in 2011, but what does he need to improve upon to write a successful trade story?

Han Seung-hyuk left the Chungden Kia Tigers for the Hanwha Eagles in November 2022 in a 2-for-1 trade. At the time, Hanwha agreed to the trade, sending big infielder Byun Woo-hyuk to KIA in exchange for Han Seung-hyuk and Jang Ji-soo.

Han Seung-hyeok was a promising right-handed fireballer who was selected by KIA with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 KBO First-Year Player Draft out of Duksugo. He garnered a lot of attention early in his career for his fastball and heavy delivery.

However, like most KBO fireballers, he struggled to find his wings due to his ups and downs. Every year, the pattern was similar. He was touted as a promising prospect in spring training for his fastball and steady control, but after the season began, he was frequently bounced between the first and second teams. It was not uncommon for the winter and spring "maybe" to turn into a "sure thing" in the summer and fall.

Looking to use the trade as a turning point, Han struggled again last year in his first year with Hanwha, going 3-1 with a 6.44 ERA in 21 games without a win. He survived 98 days in the first team, but spent 101 days in Seosan, making the trade a failure. Of course, 카지노사이트 Byun's numbers were also poor in his first year with the Kia, batting just .222 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs in 83 games.

In Melbourne, Australia, Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said, "I don't see any problems with Han Seung-hyuk in practice. He doesn't have any problems in the Futures League, but strangely, when he comes to the first team, he doesn't perform well. Even in his Kia days, he had no problems in practice. But when it comes to official matches, I falter. I think it's a mental problem, not a skill problem," he diagnosed.

Han Seung-hyuk is once again being eyed as the Eagles' favorite at the spring training camp in Melbourne, Australia. It's the same pattern. He is being considered as a must-win candidate for the roster after pitching in bullpen sessions and practice games that caught the manager's eye. Han Seung-hyeok even pitched in the eighth inning of an exhibition game against the Australian National Team at Melbourne Ballpark on Aug. 18, giving up one run in one inning of relief.

Choi said, "In golf, it's like doing really well in practice and then missing the cut in a tournament. You can't plan a strategy if you keep throwing balls," Choi said, adding, "I'm going to let him compete for the bullpen this year, and if that doesn't work, I'll prepare him for long relief. We have a doubleheader in the first half, so we need to prepare for that as well," he wrote.

Han Seung-hyuk is in his 13th year since joining the professional ranks in 2011. In his second year of the trade, it is expected that he will show off his fastball and become Hanwha's trade bullpen. Han Seung-hyuk has no place to retreat anymore.