KIA Tigers left-hander Do-gyu Kwak (19) is cruising for the Canberra Cavaliers of the Australian Baseball League. Kwak Do-kyu pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief against the Brisbane Bendits of the 2023-2024 Australian Baseball League at Viticon Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, on Aug. 8 (KST).굿모닝토토 도메인
Kwak Do-kyu is a rookie left-hander who graduated from Gongju University and was drafted in the fifth round, 42nd overall. However, his form is unique. It’s a sidearm and a three-quarter. His arm height is lower than a normal three-quarter. It’s also different from Kia’s other lefty submarine, Kim Dae-yu.
He made a splash in the exhibition games. However, he was cut from the opening roster and went on to go 6-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 37 games in the Futures League. He was occasionally called up to the first team, but struggled with an 8.49 ERA in 14 games.
He’s a three-quarter with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and has the ability to strike out batters. His fastball averaged 144 mph in the first team according to Statistiz. However, there were times when his pitches had a lot of contact. In 11⅔ innings in the first team this year, he struck out 14 and walked 10. Most of those walks turned into hits. His batting average is 0.311.
However, KIA is still not convinced of Kwak’s quality. They decided he needed more practice and sent him to Canberra. In six games in the Australian League, Kwak cruised to a 3.12 ERA in 8⅔ innings with seven hits, two walks, five strikeouts, and three runs. One hold without a win or loss.
Stumbled against the Perth Heat on the 1st, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk in 1⅔ innings. But followed that up with a scoreless inning of one-hit ball against the Perth Heat on the 3rd and a one-hit shutout against Brisbane on the 7th. Three consecutive scoreless games until the 8th. Only one hit allowed in his last three games.
Kwak uses his two-seam fastball more than his four-seam. This season, he has used his curveball, four-seamer, and slider in addition to his two-seamer. Despite being a lefty, he doesn’t throw a changeup, but what he lacks in arm height he makes up for with his curveball and slider.
Kwak Do-kyu could be the new face of the Kia bullpen in 2024. He has a routine where he shakes both shoulders three times before starting his pitching motion. This season, with the implementation of the pitch clock, the question is whether he will keep it, reduce it, or eliminate it.