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Seo Jae-Ung, “I See the Big League!”

Posted March. 11, 2002 10:33,   


New York Mets’ Seo Jae-Ung (25. Norfolk Tides. Picture.) is making light steps towards the entry in the U.S. Professional Baseball Major League. Every time he stands on the mound, he certainly has coach Bobby Valentine’s eyes.

Seo stood on the mound in the 5th inning of the match with Baltimore Orioles that took place in Florida on the 9th, and displayed `perfecting pitching` of not sending out a single batter during 2 innings. He only allowed one hit in 4 innings of 3 exhibition games.

Coach Valentine said, “He now knows how to `pitch` properly, not just throwing balls around.”

Seo has made his debut in the U.S. Major League Baseball in 1997, but has not been displaying his full talent due to injury. Some said that `Seo was finished` after his right elbow surgery in 1999.

However, his patient recovery training helped him return and he has been quite noticeable since last year. After establishing himself in New York Mets’ Double-A Binghamton Mets with 5 wins 1 defeat, and average earned-run of 1.99, he even was selected for `Future’s game`, which is the all-star field for minor leaguers, and allowed no point in 1 inning. He was promoted to Triple-A Norfork Tides in last year’s second half, and marked 2 wins 2 defeats, and average earned-run of 3.42.

Although Seo’s straight ball speed does not exceed 150 kilometers per hour, he is competent with curves like change-ups, and has perfect control of the ball. He is also currently running no 4-ball in this year’s exhibition games. Considering New York Mets’ weak pitching line, Seo Jae-Ung certainly has good chance of entering the Major League within this year.

Meanwhile, Korean players made a `general mobilization` in the exhibition game on the 10th. Arizona Diamondbacks’ Kim Byeong-Hyun scored 2 strikeouts, 1 hit, and no point lost in the match with San Francisco Giants, where he pitched for one and two thirds of innings. Chicago Cubs’ Choi Hee-Sup fought against Milwaukee Brewers and made 2 two-base hits, increasing his batting average to 0.471 (17 battings, 8 hits).

Boston Red sox’s Kim Sun-Woo gave 2 points away in the match with Toronto Blue Jays, in which he stepped onto the mound in the 8th inning as the team was leading by 1-0, and allowed 2 hits, 2 four-balls, and 2 points in one inning to become the first losing pitcher. Japanese Professional Baseball team Orix Blue Wave’s Khoo Dae-Sung allowed no hit and no point in 2 innings during the exhibition match with Daiei Hawks on the 9th.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com