’93 → 83kg loss’ I grinded my teeth at the managing director… “I work hard so that I can rise to the ranks born in 1999”
“I will work hard so that I can rise to the ranks of those born in 1999.”
Doosan Bears right-hander Kim Min-gyu (24) has returned from military service in the Armed Forces Sports Unit (Sangmu). As soon as he was discharged on the 12th, Kim Min-gyu joined the 1st team and accompanied him on the expedition to Changwon, and was immediately registered for the 1st team entry on the 13th. In Sangmu, the starting rotation has been constantly rotated, so it is a thousand forces at Doosan. Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop welcomed Kim Min-gyu to join the team, with a wide range of uses from Pil Seung-jo to long relief and substitute starting pitchers.
After graduating from Whimoon High School, Minkyu Kim joined Doosan with the 30th pick in the 2nd 3rd round of the 2018 rookie draft. He is now joined by Gwak Bin (24, 1st round) and Jeong Cheol-won (24, 2nd round), who have grown into the core of the Doosan starter and bullpen.
Kim Min-kyu is a young gun who has been given several opportunities in the first team since his joining. He pitched in 63 career games, posting 3 wins, 1 save, 1 hold, 113 innings pitched, and an earned run average of 5.50. He had a strong image of a ‘yard iron’ as he experienced everything from the pursuit group to the winning group, long relief, and starting pitcher. Until his enlistment, he had a lot of ups and downs, so when he got a chance, he would spend time reorganizing in the 2nd Army.
Watching his classmates Kwak Bin and Jeong Cheol-won win at Sangmu, he gritted his teeth even more. The most different thing about him is his sharpened appearance. He lost about 10 kg of weight while living a regular life in the army. Kim Min-kyu said스포츠토토, “I tried to lose weight after I entered the training center, but I lost weight naturally because I exercised.
My grades in business were good. In 2022, he pitched in 20 games and was very active with 10 wins, 1 loss, 1 hold, 85⅔ innings pitched, and an earned run average of 3.89. This year, he went 4-1 in 8 games, pitched 33⅓ innings, and had an earned run average of 3.51, consistently moving through the starting rotation.
Looking back on his two years at managing director, Kim Min-kyu said, “I got into the habit of living regularly, and I think I have the ability to lead innings even when my mentality is bad. I was able to think a little more about baseball. I have a strong two-pitch (fastball + slider) tendency, so I tried to throw various pitches evenly.”
His body was in Sangmu, but his heart was always with Doosan. Kim Min-gyu said, “I watched almost all of Doosan’s games (at Sangmu). Last year, I watched it as if I became a Doosan fan after a long time. Watching him throw, I thought I wanted to join that ranks,” he confessed.
The changed team composition also alerted Kim Min-gyu. He said, “(Choi) Won-joon hyung, (Lee) Young-ha hyung, (Park) Chi-guk hyung, etc. I was glad to see the hyungs who were in the first team. I heard this. Since I was discharged from the military, I will work hard to somehow secure a place in the first team in the team. Now, I really want to become a key player in the team. I think I have to work hard.”
Kim Min-kyu, who returned, had a straight comeback match against the Changwon NC Dinos on the 13th. Maybe it was because he stepped on the first-team mound that he remembered whenever he fell asleep at Sangmu. Kim Min-kyu threw the ball carefully like a rookie making his debut. He took the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning with a 9–0 lead and pitched 13 pitches, giving up no runs on four walks with one hit and no runs in one inning. His highest fastball speed was 144 km, and he mixed the main weapon slider to catch NC batters. Doosan won 11-4 and won two games in a row.
Will Kim Min-kyu, who successfully completed his comeback match, continue the current pace without ups and downs like he wished? Min-gyu Kim, along with Bin Kwak and Cheol-won Jeong, gritted his teeth once again to turn his dream of becoming Doosan’s main pitcher into reality.