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Pro Scouts Abuzz Over Pitching Phenom

Posted July. 04, 2006 03:38,   


Dongdaemun Baseball Stadium is a gathering place for professional scouts who are searching for young guns that will take charge of their team’s future. Among many features of a “prominent player,” what they count most are his basic skills.

Gongju High School’s starter Kim Tae-sik (18), who shutout Gunsan Commercial High School in their second-round match, not only has a powerful pitch, but also is well aware of the importance of the basics. He said, “The keynote of my trainings this year was running and weightlifting.”

During the match against Gunsan Commercial High, his fastball was recorded as fast as 144km/h. More surprisingly, while throwing 115 balls, the power of each pitch rather increased as the game went on.

Lee Jong-ho, Kim’s coach at the Gongju High School, said, “He has never been content with his current status, Tae-sik takes his training with enthusiasm, not to mention that his pitches are fast and heavy. Although it’s very hard to find fault from him, if you insist, his body needs some more elasticity.”

When Kim was in his fourth year in Taean Elementary School, he fell in love with baseball the first moment he played it in his school’s club. “I was by no means a sportsmanlike boy then. But when I first saw the other guys playing ball, it just looked beautiful. Nothing else was in my mind except, ‘I want to do this!’”

Kim’s goal after graduation is of course being directly scouted by a professional team. Answering the question of which team he wants to go to, he said smiling and carefully, “To be honest, I want to go to Doosan since the team’s coach Kim Gyeong-mun is a senior from my high school.”

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com