“15 wins, a team championship…if I had to choose, it would be a team championship.”
For KT Wiz and national “homegrown ace” Ko Young-pyo, the 2024 season is crucial. KT needs to make up for last year’s failure to win the Korean Series. With a strong foreign signing class and no power leaks, they are early favorites to finish second to the LG Twins next season.
Ko Young-pyo will be eligible for free agency for the first time in his career if he finishes this season well. He is 33 years old this year. He’ll be 34 next year, so he’s a bit old for free agency, but there’s still a chance he’ll be the biggest name on the market. He’s a side-armed pitcher who doesn’t use his fastball for power anyway, and his changeup is a bit of a mystery. His changeup is his best pitch. He has four to five years left in his prime. With each passing season, he’s gotten better and better. His last three seasons have been among the most reliable of the league’s native starters.
Despite the recognition he’s already gotten, 안전놀이터 he’ll need to perform well in the season leading up to his free agency in order to be considered.
We wanted to talk to Ko about his resolve and preparation for the 2024 season.
“I was disappointed to lose the Korean Series, but I tried to forget about it quickly,” he said. “I’m focusing on weight training and recovery training to prepare for the season. I’m looking for anything that can help me with baseball and building my body.”
Reflecting on his past three seasons, which saw him go 11-13-12, Ko said, “As I played more consistently, my innings were better. I also feel like I have the ability to control my physical condition and emotional ups and downs. My defense has improved as I’ve faced more batters,” he said. “I still have a lot to work on, such as my fastball, but I’m not greedy. It’s important to know what I’m good at. I have to play with a good understanding of the pitcher. It’s dangerous to be greedy for what I don’t have,” he explained seriously.
When asked about his feelings ahead of his first free agency, Ko said, “You can’t help but be nervous. It’s a chance to get a big contract, but it’s not something I can control. Skill is important, but luck is also important. When you’re a professional player, every season is more important than free agency. As long as you’re in the uniform, you have to be as good as you can be,” he emphasized.
With his performance, skill, and recognition,
it’s worth pursuing a non-free agent multi-year contract with KT. He’s a de facto founding member. There were even rumors that the two sides had such discussions. He can focus on baseball without worrying about free agency. “I thought about signing a multi-year contract early to ease my mind, but I wasn’t too greedy. If you sign a multi-year contract, you have to prove a lot of things. Whether it’s a multi-year contract or a free agent, I’m going to do my best for the fans who come to the stadium to watch me and the team.”
LG Twins closer Ko Woo-seok signed a contract with the San Diego Padres of the Major League Baseball.
There were reports that Ko Young-pyo was also receiving interest from major league teams. Rarity is a strength. There are very few submarine pitchers like Ko in the United States. But it can work. “Every athlete has the same desire to play at a high level,” says Ko. But it’s not just my heart. I didn’t have a chance to post because I was a college graduate. This year, I am both a free agent and eligible for posting. Sometimes I think I’m a little late because of my age, but I think if I play well this season, they might be interested,” he said honestly.
With 15 individual wins, the ‘free agent jackpot’ is within reach. I asked Ko a dirty question. If you could only choose between 15 wins and a team championship, 파워볼게임 which would you choose? Without a second’s hesitation, Ko shouted, “Unconditionally win the team championship.” I could tell he meant it. He was sincere.