Most of them showed concern. Some said, “It’s a waste of talent you have.” This is the story of Na Gyun-an (25, photo) of the professional baseball Lotte, who turned from catcher to pitcher in 2020. After that, 3 years passed. Was the choice at the time the right decision? As of the 10th, the question mark for Na Kyun-an is changing to an exclamation mark.
In the home game against KT Wiz held at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 9th, Na Kyun-an came out as a starting pitcher and blocked it with no runs (4 hits and 8 strikeouts) for 7 innings, leading Lotte to a 5-3 victory. With a fastball with a maximum speed of 146 km/h, a curve with a large drop, and a fork ball, it completely blocked the KT line. The results of the two games this season are 13 and 2/3 innings scoreless. Lotte coach Larry Sutton praised him, saying, “Na Kyun-an has done it again.”
Na Kyun-an drew attention as a promising catcher during his time at Masan Yongma High School. His strong arm and slugging power earned him good reviews. Thanks to that, he received Lotte’s 1st pick in the 2017 KBO Rookie Draft. After his professional debut, he got many opportunities. Coincidentally, after the main catcher Kang Min-ho transferred to the Samsung Lions, he took on the role of Lotte’s master and frequently stepped on the first-team ground.
However, the professional stage was not easy. He was criticized for wearing a catcher’s mask and making frequent defensive mistakes. Even with his bat, he suffered heartache as the bat did not explode. In the end, Na Kyun-an put down the catcher mask in 2020 and chose to become a pitcher. On April 22, 2020, three years before him, he stepped on the mound for the first time in a second-team game against NC Dinos, and on May 5 of the following year, 카지노사이트 in a match against KIA Tigers, he finally finished his ‘first-team re-debut’ as a pitcher, not a hitter.
Na Kyun-an, who transformed into a pitcher, has grown rapidly. His fastball speed continued to rise, and the angle of his breaking ball became sharper. Basic abilities such as quick motion and runner check have also been improved. In the meantime, the status of the Lotte mound has also changed. Even until last year, he went back and forth between selection and salvation, but from this year he has established himself as a built-in starter.