Han Seung-ju, a 23-year-old right-handed pitching prospect from Hanwha, was one of the few pitchers to throw a “sweeper” last year. Popularized by Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Dodgers) in the major leagues and Eric Pedi (Chicago White Sox) in the KBO, the sweeper has a slower velocity than a regular slider but more lateral movement. The name sweeper comes from the fact that it sweeps past home plate.
Han learned the sweeper grip from pitching coach Jose Rosa during spring training last year. Rosado, who is the new bullpen coach for the New York Mets, 안전놀이터 was a two-time Major League Baseball All-Star during his career. Always interested in the latest theories, Rosado researched the sweeper and taught his players how to use the grip and throw, with Han Seung-ju being the only pitcher to use it in practice.
After quickly learning the sweeper and throwing it in practice within a month
Han played a full season with the first team for the first time last year. Splitting time between the middle and the rotation, he finished 47 games (6 starts – 70⅔ innings) with a 1-4 record, 2 holds, a 3.95 ERA, and 55 strikeouts. With a fastball that tops out at 150 mph and averages 143.1 mph, along with a slider, sweeper, and curve, he’s made the step up to the first team.
“I threw the sweeper well last year, but it’s a ball with a lot of spin, so it’s hard on my arm. It’s a ball that requires a lot of rotation, so I decided not to throw the sweeper this year,” he said. The more you throw the ball with your wrist down, the more you strain your arm.
Since Han has a slider that has a small angle but travels outside to the right-hand side of the plate, he didn’t need to stick with a sweeper that travels in the same direction. Instead, Han is preparing a new weapon, a splitter that he rarely throws. He needed a ball that dropped like a bell.
“This year, I’ve been practicing the splitter to face batters with a little more variety. I think I’m about 80 percent comfortable with it. I’m working on the splitter because I need a pitches that can face lefties and righties alike.” Han, who had a higher batting average against lefties (.333) than righties (.250) last year, chose the splitter as his weapon against lefties.
Despite his success in the first team last year, he is not satisfied.
“I played my first full season in the first team, but I’m not satisfied. This year, I’m making changes with the idea that I need to do much better than last year. I’m working on the mechanics that weren’t working as well as the pitching form. It’s not a big change. We’re working on the lower body and the height of the arm,” he said.
While he filled all 199 days of his roster spot from opening day to the final day of the season last year, he’s not guaranteed a full-time spot this year. Lee Sang-kyu, the second overall pick in the second round of the draft, has been transferred from LG, and classmate Nam Ji-min and second-year pitcher Kim Seo-hyun, who spent a lot of time in the second team last year, are also struggling.
As the battle for the right-handed bullpen became more intense, Han Seung-ju’s preparation for the season accelerated. On the 23rd 안전한 파워볼사이트, he traveled to the spring training camp in Melbourne, Australia, a week early, along with Chae Eun-sung, Ha Ju-seok, Noh Si-hwan, and Joo Hyun-sang. Han vowed to “complete the full season without injury like last year and show improved performance.”