Rookie with a fiery fastball, will he become NC’s ‘Nansehero’?

Can superstar pitcher Shin Young-woo save the struggling NC Dinos from the brink?

Shin Young-woo will take the mound for the NC Dinos in their 2023 KBO game against the Doosan Bears on April 28 at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul.

Shin is a highly touted right-hander who was selected by NC with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2023 KBO Draft out of Gyeongnam High School. His strengths include a fastball that sits well over 100 mph and a changeup with a breaking ball, and in recognition of his potential, he spent the offseason working out with the first team in spring training.

However, his flaws were as pronounced as his strengths. It was his ‘unstable fastball’. Since then, Shin has been building himself up in the Futures (second division) league, where he has yet to make his first-team debut under the NC’s policy of maximizing strengths rather than compensating for weaknesses.

Speaking to reporters in late May, NC pitching coach Kim Soo-kyung said of Shin, “His strength is his speed (on the ball),” but added, “It’s good to get up to the first team quickly, but I think it’s also important to feel and do things while rotating through the starting rotation in the Futures League. If you do well (in the starting rotation) in the Futures League, you’re stronger, so you can be competitive when you come to the first team. Obviously, there will be things that will improve after the development period,” he explained.

Shin Young-woo, who also spoke to reporters around the same time, said he is working on improving his pitching and creating a routine. “I don’t want to rush up to the first team and embarrass the team and look bad. The club and coach (Kang Myung-ho) must have their own ideas. I think it’s my job to stick to the plan, prepare myself well and wait for my chance to come,” he emphasized.

As of July 27, Shin has started eight games in the Futures League and is 2-3 with a 3.57 ERA. While he has struck out 42 batters in 35.1 innings pitched, he has also walked 40 batters in the same amount of time, so it’s hard to say that his pitches have stabilized yet.

In his last outing, against the Samsung Lions Futures team on the 20th, Shin threw five scoreless innings with five strikeouts and four walks, showing both his potential and his challenges.

The reason why the ‘waiting in the wings’ Shin Young-woo is getting his first-team debut is because NC has been faced with a number of recent injuries to its starting pitching staff.

First, left-hander Choi Sung-young, who had been filling in nicely for native left-handed ace Koo Chang-mo, who was sidelined with a left forearm flexor injury, suffered an orbital fracture after being hit in the face by a pitch in the Changwon LG Twins game (8-4 NC win) on April 20. In addition, Koo, who was initially expected to return before the All-Star break, was pushed back to the second half of the season.

The news didn’t stop there. Right-hander Lee Jae-hak, who spent the early part of the season in the Futures League before settling into the starting rotation in mid-May, going 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA and showing the quality of a veteran, was diagnosed with a fractured first metatarsal in his left foot after being hit in the foot by a pitch in a game against the Changwon LG Electronics (3-4 NC loss) on May 22. Even right-hander Lee Yong-jun, who has been a regular in the starting rotation, was removed from the first team roster for reorganization reasons, leaving the team with an absolute shortage of starting resources.

NC, which currently sits in third place with 35 wins, one draw and 30 losses, is facing a clear crisis, but if Shin Young-woo performs above expectations, they will have another starting option. For Shin Young-woo personally, if he can overcome the pressure of making his first first-team start, it’s a chance to showcase his value and make his presence felt.먹튀검증

In an interview in June, he said, “I will refine my skills well and reward myself with good match results. I hope you will believe and support me,” Shin said to his fans in an interview in June. Many baseball fans are eagerly awaiting his performance.

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