“You’re already a pro” Nephew cheers for ‘Korean Express’, 9th overall rookie who dreams of becoming the next Ahn Woo-jin

September 16, 2023 | by

Jang Chung-go Kim Yoon-ha, 18, the nephew of Korean baseball legend Park Chan-ho, has begun his professional career with a first-round pick.

Kim was selected in the first round (ninth overall) by Kiwoom at the 2024 KBO Rookie Draft, held on April 14 at the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul.

With a 3-1 record and a 2.77 ERA in 13 games (39⅓ innings) this year, Kim is a right-hander with a sturdy build (188 cm, 90 kg) and a fastball that sits in the mid-to-high 140 kilometers per hour. He is also known to fans as the nephew of former Major League Baseball star Chan-ho Park.

Park Chan-ho posted a congratulatory message on his Instagram the day after Kim Yoon-ha’s nomination, saying, “Congratulations. Kim Yoon-ha’s nephew. It seems like it’s only been a few days since I started playing baseball, but the one I covered is already a professional baseball player. My mother followed me so passionately and I made it right. Mom’s power,” he wrote, congratulating his niece on her professional designation.

Park Chan-ho, who said, “The meaning of being the first pick for a professional team also has the pressure of being clear,” added, “I think my mom will grow her son into an even better player because she has a great coach.” He sent a message to his friend, coach Hong Won-ki, asking him to take care of Kim Yoon-ha. “I hope that the process of growth will always be accompanied by example, hard work, strength, responsibility, passion, and constant challenges. Go Kim Yoonha!” he concluded in support of his niece.

Manager Hong Won-ki also said, “Being selected in the draft is the first honor in baseball. It’s a blessing in itself and should be celebrated,” he said, congratulating Kim and other rookies on their selection.

“Honestly, I was wondering if I would go in the first or second round,” Kim said in a post-draft interview. I was looking forward to it, but fortunately, Kiwoom selected me in the first round. I’m honored.”

Kiwoom’s scouting team leader Lee Sang-won said, “Kim Yoon-ha is not a pitcher who throws 150km/h in the mid-to-high 140km/h range. However, her strikeout-to-walk ratio is staggering. It’s almost like a Class A pitcher. As you can see from his record, he has very good control of his pitches.”

“I have a lot of deficiencies, but I will be a player who works harder to fill them,” said Kim Yoon-ha. “I watched their YouTube videos, and the team atmosphere seems to be very bright and fun. I’m looking forward to playing baseball with the seniors because we get along so well,” he said, vowing to adapt quickly to the pros.

Kim Yoon-ha, who mentioned Ahn Woo-jin as a role model, said, “I’m also curious about the secret of his fastball and how he manages it and can continue to do so. I also want to learn a lot about changeups,” he said, looking forward to meeting Ahn. 스포츠토토

Kiwoom, which focused on acquiring rookie picks through trades this year, selected a whopping 14 rookies in the rookie draft. Among them, Kim Yoon-ha was selected with the ninth pick, the second highest after Jeon Jun-pyo (Seoul High), who was selected with the eighth pick. Fans are excited to see what kind of pitcher Kim Yoon-ha will become in the future, as he will be responsible for Kiwoom’s future.


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