Lotte Giants top prospect Kim Jin-wook, 21, has returned to the first team after 20 days on the disabled list.
Kim was called up for the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game against the LG Twins on April 22 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. It’s been three weeks since he was sent down to the second team due to a one-day slump.
Kim Jin-wook was considered an exceptional talent, winning the Choi Dong-won Award in high school before donning a professional uniform, and was drafted by Lotte with the first pick of the second round in 2021. However, he has yet to find success at the professional level. He has a lot of potential, but he hasn’t been able to break out of the egg.
For two consecutive seasons, 2021 and 2022, he had an ERA in the sub-6 range.
This year is no different. In 43 games, he’s 2-1 with a 5.23 ERA in eight starts.
He started off well, going 1-0 with a 3.23 ERA and a Mr. Zero in 10 games in April. He followed that up with a one-hit shutout in his first start of May. In 14 games, he went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA and two shutouts.
But in June, he went downhill. He was sent down to the second team. He came back in mid-June and picked up two consecutive holds, but he struggled again in late July and was sent down to the second team.
At the time, manager Larry Sutton said, “Kim Jin-wook has been struggling lately, and his pitches have been shaky, 토토사이트 so we’re going to give him some time. I hope he can find his pace during that time,” he said.
He had time to rebuild with the second team. In four Futures League appearances, he went 1-1 with a 2.79 ERA in 9⅔ innings. He walked two and struck out 15.
The Lotte bullpen has been tired lately. With Kim Jin-wook back, the bullpen will get a boost.
Sutton said, “He definitely has the stats to help the team. He can start, he can pitch one inning. He can be used in one-point relief,” Sutton said.
“He’s a guy who can help the team when he’s getting strikes,” Sutton said, adding that he hopes his stuff improves.
With the rainout of the 22nd game, Shim Jae-min, who was scheduled to start on the 24th, moved to the bullpen. Kim Jin-wook will join him in the bullpen.