Kim Taek-yeon (18) of Incheon High School showed off an ace-like pitch.
On the 7th, Kim Taek-yeon pitched in relief against Gyeonggi Commercial High School in the round of 16 of the ’57th Presidential Cup National High School Baseball Championship’ held at Mokdong Stadium in Seoul, and made a perfect pitch with 4 strikeouts and no runs in 2 innings. The overall second-choice nomination in the 2024 rookie draft showed a promising top-class prospect.
At the end of the 6th inning, when Incheon High School was leading 4-0, Kim Taek-yeon, who made a relief mound on first and second base, struck out Lim Jae-won, Jung Hee-jae, and Gong Geon-hee and prevented the crisis with no runs. In the 7th inning, he caught both Si-Hyeon Park and Seo-Jun Lee with fly balls and struck out Seung-Min Shin to end the game.
In an interview after the match, coach Gye-beom Gye of Incheon High School said, “Kim Taek-yeon is a pitcher with a really good fastball. He even gets his first pitch, so it seems to be harder for batters to hit. He praised Kim Taek-yeon for his strong pitching, saying, “He’s still good with his breaking ball, but if he refines it further, he will be able to pitch better.”
Coach Kye-beom Gye-beom, who put Kim Taek-yeon on the mound in a crisis situation, said, “Kim Taek-yeon produced the best results. He expected something like that. He did as expected, so I’m grateful. (Kim) Taecyeon has a calm personality. He’s not very nervous, so he doesn’t waver whether he goes up as a starting pitcher or a closer. He had a little bit of that in his sophomore year, but since he has gained experience, he is not nervous at all and tries to enjoy himself in any situation. That seems to be another strength,” he explained why he chose Kim Taek-yeon. 안전놀이터
Regarding the pitching in a crisis situation in the 6th inning, Kim Taek-yeon said, “Since there is a 4-point difference, I focused on the batter with the thought that it was OK to give the first and second base runners honestly. At first, he tried to induce a ground ball, and when the ball count was favorable, he threw it for a strikeout. He played right away trying to get a good ball count to catch a ground ball or strike out.”
Kim Taek-yeon laughed, saying, “I’m enjoying it now because I always pitch in a crisis situation.” He learned the ability to manage the game when he went out as a starter, and he seems to have gained the ability to prevent crises while showing how to make use of my strengths when throwing short throws like today.”
Kim Taek-yeon, who recorded a maximum speed of 149 km on that day, laughed and said, “Our speed gun came out at 150 km.” It’s about checking after the game is over. However, in the last appearance, 146 km came out, and I think it is positive that the speed increased while improving the physical condition.”
Kim Taek-yeon, who is holding the last tournament before the youth national team convocation, said, “This tournament is the last time I can play with the team until the championship. So I really want to win. I am earnestly working with my friends with the mindset of one win and one win. If you do that, I think there will be good results,” he said, burning his will to win.