“When I put the uniform on him and touch him, it’s so much better. I’m even more satisfied.”
When KIA President Shim Jae-hak selected Cho “Jotani” Dae-hyun (Gangneung-go) with the sixth overall pick in the rookie draft on Thursday, he hugged him before putting him on the podium. He then exclaimed as shown above. I knew he had a strong physique, but I liked him even more when I touched him(?).
There was talk that Cho Dae-hyun could have been drafted a bit higher, but he ended up at No. 6. As you can see from his nickname, Cho Tani, he has been playing both batting and pitching. KIA wants to focus on Dae-hyun as a pitcher rather than a batting prospect. His prospects as a pitcher are better than as a hitter.
In 18 official high school games this year, Cho went 7-0 with a 1.29 ERA. In 62⅔ innings, he allowed just one home run. He struck out 76 batters and walked just 27. His WHIP was 0.83, with his fastball reaching up to 151 mph and consistently sitting in the low 140s.
KIA doesn’t see him as an immediate first-team option like Lee or Yoon. They plan to develop him into a complete starter over time. For KIA, which has fewer right-handed pitching prospects than left-handed young guns, Cho’s development is crucial to securing future power.
“It’s much better than I thought when they put him in the uniform and touched his body, so I’m even more satisfied,” said Shim Jae-hak. “In 2007, KIA legend Yang Hyun-jong joined the team. He is the KBO’s winningest starting pitcher, but he started slowly with one win. As the future of KIA, I will maximize his strengths and raise him as a pitcher who can win the most games for right-handers. I will raise him with the heart of a parent.”
In reality, Yang Hyun-jong also won only one game in his first season in 2007. He went winless in 2008. In 2009, when Kia won the overall championship, he won 12 games in five starts and began his legendary career. Not everyone can do what Yang Hyun-jong did, but for now, Cho Dae-hyun has been recognized for his potential.
In a press release, KIA said, “At 193 centimeters and 90 kilograms, Dae-hyun Cho is known for his powerful fastball that reaches a maximum speed of 151 kilometers per hour. Dae-hyun Cho, who is also equipped with good physical strength to maintain his high performance while doubling as a pitcher this year, is expected to grow into an outstanding pitching resource if he receives systematic guidance after joining the team.” 메이저놀이터
Dae-hyun Cho said, “I’m really happy. Thank you for believing in me. I’d like to thank my parents, Gangneung Go coach Choi Jae-ho, and all the seniors at KIA, but I look up to Jung Hae-young a lot. I can do everything you ask me to do well.”
Kwon Yoon-min, head of the power planning team at KIA, said, “We considered the team’s lack of right-handed pitchers. We chose players who are physically fit, throw fastballs, and have excellent game management skills,” said Kwon Yoon-min, head of the power planning team at KIA. “Yasoo is a player who has shown strength in offense and long balls, which will be very helpful for our future power.”