Fastball tops out at 90.1 mph (about 145 km/h). Average velocity 87.9 mph (about 141 km/h).
Pitchers with these velocities are not uncommon in the KBO. There are plenty of pitchers in South Korea who have thrown over 150 kilometers per hour, and there are quite a few young prospects who have already hit 150 in high school.
There are pitchers who throw well, not just well, but well in the major leagues.
These are the fastballs that the Toronto Blue Jays’ Hyun-jin Ryu threw on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. He’s still not up to his old velocity after his surgery, but with that kind of velocity, he threw just 76 pitches over five innings, allowing four hits (one home run) and two walks. He threw the most fastballs, 35, followed by 19 cutters, 12 curves, and 10 changeups.
Even with a 145 mph fastball, which is common in South Korea, Ryu’s weapon is his ability to neutralize major league hitters. His fastball goes right where he wants it to. There is a famous video of Ryu on social media. The video shows him checking the umpire’s strike zone with three pitches: the first outside pitch is called a ball, the next is a little inside, and the third is called a ball, and the fourth is even more inside, which is a testament to the power of his delivery.
It’s not just his fastball that’s good. His cutter, changeup, curveball, and everything else he throws goes where he wants it to go. He also has a 130-kilometer cutter, a 120-130-kilometer changeup, and a 100-110-kilometer curveball that varies in velocity between pitches to take away the opponent’s timing. His 104-kilometer curveball, which is rarely seen in Korea, is thrilling to watch.
The fact that Ryu throws a 100-kilometer fastball in the major leagues, where even a 160-kilometer fastball can be turned into a home run, shows his boldness. In other words, his aggressive pitching despite his slow velocity in the major leagues is a must for KBO pitchers.
After seeing Japanese pitchers easily throwing balls in the low 150km range at the WBC, interest in fastball pitchers has increased in the KBO. There are high expectations for Jang Jae-young of Kiwoom Heroes and Moon Dong-joo and Kim Seo-hyun of Hanwha Eagles. Also, when importing foreign pitchers recently, most of them are fireballers who throw fastballs over 150 kilometers. However, many of them are not able to overcome the KBO’s good starters because they have poor control.
While Hanwha’s Kim Seo-hyun was unable to make it to the first team due to his control issues, KIA’s Yoon Young-chul has already 온라인바카라 won eight games in the professional league with a fastball in the low 140s, throwing hard against his older brothers. Retired pitcher Yoo Hee-kwan has 101 career wins with balls under 140km/h. Last year’s Golden Glove winner Kiwoom An-woo-jin has worked hard through injuries and slumps since joining the team in 2018, and now has a fastball that reaches nearly 160 kilometers and a breaking ball.