Player in focus: Kim Young-min (Nexen Heroes)Nexen Heroes pitcher Kim Young-min was known as the “forever prospect” by fans as he has failed to progress year after year. The 28-year-old right-hander, who made his pro debut in 2007, had a fastball over 150 kilometers per hour (90 miles per hour), but with bad control, his performance has been mediocre.
Before Saturday, Kim had amassed only 23-28 with a 5.34 ERA in his pro career. Last year, he went 5-2, but his ERA was 8.00.
But on Saturday in Incheon against the SK Wyverns, Kim delivered his best performance by shutting out his opponents in only 99 pitches to lead the Heroes to a 7-0 victory. Although he had only three strikeouts, it was enough for him to become the fifth pitcher in the team’s history to have a nine-inning shutout game.
His main weapon on Saturday was again his fastball. In his 99 pitches, 58 were fastballs that clocked 153 kilometers per hour. While other pitchers can lose their power in the latter half of the game, he threw 151 kilometer per hour fastballs.
Kim started the season as a reliever, but from Aug. 17, he was switched to starter. However, he couldn’t pitch more than five innings. On Saturday, Kim overcame his limit, pitching a full nine innings for the first time while not allowing runs. It was also his first win as a starter since Aug. 10, 2013. He is now 4-5 with a 4.38 ERA.
BY JOO KYUNG-DON [email@example.com]