Two 2011 first-round picks face off in their first career start.
The Hanwha Eagles and LG Twins are set for an interesting matchup on the first day of the final three-game series of the first half.
Hanwha has announced Han Seung-hyuk as the starter, while LG has called up Im Chan-kyu, marking the first start for the younger of the two teams.
In the 2011 Rookie Draft, which was an all-or-nothing draft, Im was selected by LG with the second pick of the first round behind Hanwha’s Yu Chang-sik, while Han Seung-hyuk was selected by KIA with the eighth pick of the first round. At the time, Im received a 300 million won signing bonus, while Han Seung-hyuk received 180 million won.
Among the first-round picks at the time, Lim and Han are joined by NC Shim Chang-min (selected by Samsung in the fourth round) and SSG Seo Jin-yong (selected by SK in the seventh round) as active players. Doosan closer Hong Gun-hee was selected by KIA with the 16th pick of the second round, while Go Jong-wook, who also plays for KIA, was selected by Nexen with the 3rd pick of the 3rd round. Catcher Yoo Kang-nam, who hit the 8 billion won jackpot this year, was selected with the second pick in the seventh round, and Yang Hyun, who is a key member of Kiwoom’s pitching staff, was selected with the sixth pick in the 10th round, the last pick of the draft.
Both grew into starters. 먹튀검증
Lim burst onto the scene in his rookie year. Working primarily out of the bullpen, he appeared in 65 games, posting a 9-6 record with seven saves and a 4.46 ERA.
In his second year, in 2012, Lim bounced back and forth between starting and relieving, but in 2016, he became a full-time starter. In 2017, he went 6-10 as a full-time starter, and in 2018, he went 11-11 for his first double-digit win season. After winning just three games in 2019, Lim reached the 10-win plateau in 2020 (9 losses). He doesn’t have a fastball, but he uses his changeup and breaking ball to cook opposing hitters.
However, after winning just one game in 2021 and six in 2022, Lim fell out of the starting rotation this season and started the season in long relief. Opportunity comes to those who work hard, and Lim seized it. Injuries and poor performances by the main players gave him the opportunity to start, and with his changeup as his primary weapon, he quickly became one of the top three starters in the country. He is 6-2 with a 3.19 ERA this season. Against Hanwha, he appeared in two games, going 1-0 with a 0.87 ERA.
Han Seung-hyuk has had his chances based on his fast ball, which is over 150 km/h, but he has repeatedly failed to capitalize on them due to his delivery anxiety. In 2018, he went 7-3 with a career-high 88 innings pitched in 21 games. In 2022, Han went 4-3 with a 5.18 ERA in 24 games before being traded after the season. He competed for the starting job in spring training, but started the season in the bullpen. He made his first start on June 17 against the Kiwoom Heroes, replacing struggling starter Jang Min-jae. He gave up one run on three hits in three innings, then made his second start against his hometown team, the KIA, on June 22, giving up one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in four innings. On the 28th, he struggled against KT Wiz, giving up four runs on eight hits in three innings.
After giving way to Han Seung-ju in his next start, Han Seung-hyuk was given the opportunity to start again against the LG. In his two appearances against LG this season, Han has pitched 1⅔ innings as a middle reliever, giving up one run on two hits and four walks. He’s thrown around 60 pitches in each of those starts, so he shouldn’t need to throw as many in this one. It will be important to keep LG’s hard-hitting lineup in check early on.
Im Chan-kyu has started 168 games since his debut, while Han Seung-hyuk has started 49 of 244 games. This is the first time they’ve faced each other in the starting lineup.
Lim will be looking to defend LG’s top spot. A win for LG on the day would clinch the top spot for the first half of the season. Han Seung-hyuk will be looking to capitalize on the team’s recent upswing to earn a starting spot going forward.
Pride will be on the line as well as motivation. Last week, LG was second with a team hitting percentage of 3.1-1.9, while Hanwha was fourth with 2.9-2.2. Both did well.