Jung Woo-young (24‧LG) burst onto the KBO scene with a bang. He had just graduated from high school and was unleashing powerful pitches in excess of 150 kilometers per hour. It didn’t take long for the messy side-armed delivery to become the league’s signature “snakeball”.
Jung, who won the 2019 Rookie of the Year award, was a healthy member of LG’s pitching staff and consistently delivered. Starting with 16 strikeouts in 2019, he recorded 20 in 2020, 27 in 2021, and 35 in 2022, breaking his personal best every year. His scoring average remained in the low 2s. But his weaknesses were also showing. He had problems with runners on base, and opponents were starting to capitalize. In addition, the number of strikeouts was increasing every year.
Jung himself was stressed. Runners were getting on base with walks instead of hits, and fast runners were often getting to second base without a hit. He tried changing his pitching form and breathing differently, but nothing worked. It’s not uncommon for a small change in form to actually affect the pitch. I’d go back and forth.
This season, I’ve continued to work on both my pitches and my control. His velocity dropped at the beginning of the season, which raised some concerns, but he kept pushing forward. Since June, he has improved his velocity, his velocity, his fastball, and his slide staff.
Jung’s ERA this season is 4.24 in 39 games, which isn’t great compared to his career ERA (3.09), but it’s a different story since June, when his pitches found their groove and his velocity increased. Jung has a 2.00 ERA in his last 10 games, showing that he’s back on track, and from June 22 through July 2, he allowed just four hits in five innings of work. None of the walks that had previously plagued him have been earned, and, unsurprisingly, none of the runs have been earned.
His velocity is up, too. According to Trackman, which provides tracking data for all nine KBO clubs, Jung hadn’t averaged more than 150 kilometers per hour in a game until May 24, but he hit that mark for the first time on May 30 against Lotte and has consistently averaged over 150 in June. At this velocity, he has found his best form.
His average fastball was a season-high 152.1 mph against the Jamsil KIA on July 1 and 151.6 mph against the Jamsil KIA on the second day of the doubleheader. His highest velocity on the first day was 154 kilometers, and on the second day, all of his fastballs were over 150 kilometers. All of them were well-pitched. You can see the confidence and conviction in his facial expressions and body language. We can expect him to get even better in the future.
LG manager Yeom Kyung-yup also praised Jung’s transformation. He’s moving in the right direction and is getting a handle on all three of his pitches: his fastball, his breaking ball, and his runner control. “What I learned from yesterday’s game (Day 1) is that Jung didn’t have any fly balls. Even his changeup had a high strike rate,” he said with a smile.
Yoon believes that Jeong’s left shoulder keeps getting in the way of his pitches, causing him to deviate from the basics. It’s an instinctive behavior to throw harder pitches. Recently, however, she hasn’t changed her form much and is using the basics to hold both her fastball and breaking ball. “I corrected my left shoulder in my style with Coach Kim Kyung-tae. It was because of the slide step, but now it’s within 1.40 seconds. I’m on the way to getting better speed and much better control,” he emphasized.안전놀이터
If the left shoulder goes in too much, the pitches are more likely to wobble in the release motion. So, when the release point was shaky, it often resulted in balls or pitches that hit right-handed batters, but it’s different now. Jung Woo-young wasn’t convinced at first, but the change in form has led him to believe. His strikeouts per nine innings have dropped dramatically from 4.97 last year to 2.12 this year. Yeom also praised the player’s openness, saying, “He accepted it.”
Yeom also emphasized that Jeong’s runner control, one of his biggest stressors, has improved. “He’s improved a lot,” Yeom said. At 1.40 seconds, it’s not very fast, but it’s an improvement. “We have Park Dong-won. If the catcher is weak, it’s less than 1.40 seconds, but if you have Park Dong-won, you can fight for timing and it’s enough to come in within 1.40 seconds,” he said. The league’s best snake fastball is back with an upgrade. The Hangzhou Asian Games team has also been given the green light.