Drafted by the NC Dinos in the first round of the 2024 First-Year Player Draft, Hwi Gun Kim wowed the draft room with his words. “I was born in Changwon and started playing baseball in Changwon. I grew up watching NC and dreaming of becoming a baseball player,” he said, “I came to NC in a circle. I will return the love NC gave me 1000 times. I will give my right arm for the NC Dinos,” he said. With his prepared remarks, Kim showed the pride of ‘N-Hoogan’ to the fullest.토토사이트
He attended Soyangcho and Chuncheon Middle Schools in Chuncheon, then enrolled in Cheonan Bukil High School before transferring to Whimun High School. Although he doesn’t seem to have a connection to Changwon, Kim was a “local boy” born in Changwon. As he said, he came full circle and joined his hometown team. It seems like an unlikely pairing. NC has high hopes for the sturdy 191cm 105kg player. “He is a starting resource with excellent physical condition, athleticism, and an explosive delivery,” said head coach Lim Sun-nam. “He is a player with unlimited potential, and I did not hesitate to nominate him because I was convinced that he could turn potential and possibility into reality through the club’s development system. I think that in the not-too-distant future, we will be able to see him standing on the mound at Changwon NC Park and throwing, and the club will do our best to make that day come sooner rather than later,” he said.
He has a heavy fastball and good command. However, he still has ups and downs in his control. His record this year is 2-3 with a 2.12 ERA in nine games. He has struck out 48 batters in 34 innings, but has allowed 17 walks, nearly 4.5 per nine innings.
That doesn’t take away from the strength of his pitches, which are hard to hit. It’s what helped him get decent results in the education league, where he played in an NC uniform. “I pitched two games, both of which were scoreless, and the results were good,” Kim said. In the first game, I pitched well, but then I gave up two walks and got into trouble, but I managed to get out of it without giving up a run. In the second game, I got out of there with three clean outs,” he explained.
Although it was an educational league, it was his first taste of the professional stage. But for Kim, it was a small league. “I feel like I threw my pitches and came down. I think I need to face higher-level hitters to see what the pros are like. So far, I think I can do it.”
While training, Kim was able to “intuit” all of the fall baseball games at the Changwon NC Park. He was fascinated by the sound of the cheers that could only be heard in fall baseball. “When the postseason games were held at Changwon NC Park, we all watched from the stadium,” he says. “The atmosphere was so good and fun. When I heard the cheers, I wished I was the one standing on the mound. When you hear the cheers, you’re nervous and nervous, but I think it’s good. I think it’s a good nervousness,” he laughed.
For now, he’s just playing catch. Her current training schedule is back-to-basics: running, balance exercises, and weight training. As the youngest, watching the older players train is a wake-up call. “It’s very competitive,” he says. I feel like I have to beat my peers and outperform them in order to play, so I feel more motivated and work harder.”
Kim’s ambition to give up his arm remains the same. With this bold ambition, he has set goals. He wants to surpass Lee Jae-hak, who holds the NC franchise record for most wins (82), and become the club’s best pitcher. “Rather than a role model, I had an intuition when NC was founded, and Lee Jae-hak pitched for NC for the first time. He won 10 games, and if there was an ace in NC at the time, it was definitely Lee Jae-hak.” “I want to do better than Lee Jae-hak, and my goal is to remain the greatest pitcher in the NC Dinos. I will also break Lee Jae-hak’s record for most wins (82) and move up to a higher position.”
Participating in the first team spring training next year is also a gateway to the final goal: “January is the time to get stronger right before the season. “The most important thing is to keep the program I’ve been working on and stay injury-free and ready for the season. I’ll be working out with my brothers from the first and second teams, and I have a lot to learn and ask them, so I’m trying to prepare well,” he said, emphasizing, “I want to follow the first team spring camp.”