“Moon Dong-ju is amazing, superstar lumber” Ryu Hyun-jin, who broke the 1-point ERA, is also recognized as an ML giant

Correspondent Lee Sang-Hak] Didi Gregorius (33), the ‘Geopo shortstop’ who recorded 134 homers in his major league career, recognized Korea’s top talent at a glance. 안전놀이터

Moon Dong-ju, a 20-year-old fastball prospect in Hanwha’s second year, made a start in a practice match against the Dutch World Baseball Classic (WBC) team held at Salt River Field at Talking Stock in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA on the 20th (hereinafter referred to as Korean time), and hit a fastball with a maximum speed of 156 km. Leading the way, he caught two strikeouts and blocked one walk and no runs until the second inning. 

The Netherlands put out batting order 1-4 in the order of Andrelton Simmons, Gregory, Vladimir Valentin, and Roger Bernardina from the major leagues. They are veteran players who have passed their prime, but they are hitters who left their mark in the major leagues, Japan and Korea. 

But Moon Dong-ju did not give in. He took out a walk to Valentin in the first inning and threw out the remaining five batters. In particular, in the first inning, after a full count match with Gregorius that went up to 10 pitches, he struck out on a swing with a high fastball. Against Bernardina in the second inning, he threw a changeup to induce a fly ball in right field. 

Dutch players also acknowledged Moon Dong-ju. After the second practice game against Hanwha on the 22nd, Bernardina from the KBO League KIA, who met with Korean reporters, said, “Moon Dong-ju has a very good pitch. He had a good fastball as well as a good changeup and curveball. If he keeps throwing like that, he’ll be a great pitcher. He is a lumber that will become a superstar of Hanwha in the future.” 

It was not a kind lip service from Bernardina, who has many good memories in Korea. He also conveyed the Dutch dugout atmosphere against Moon Dong-ju. “Not only me, but other players also talked about how they felt dealing with Moon Dong-ju. In particular, Gregorius said, ‘That guy was one of the most picky pitchers I’ve ever faced. ‘He’s an incredibly good pitcher,'” Bernardina said. 

Gregorius, who made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2012, went through the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, and Philadelphia Phillies, and until last year, he recorded a batting average of .257, 999 hits, 134 homers, 530 RBIs, OPS .728 in 11 seasons in 11 seasons. . In particular, he hit more than 20 home runs for three consecutive years with the Yankees from 2016 to 2018, and is holding the record for the most home runs in major league careers among Dutch players. 

In 2019, he hit a home run against Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto), the best pitcher the KBO League has ever produced. On August 24 of that year, Ryu Hyun-jin, who belonged to the Los Angeles Dodgers, was defeated by Gregorius in the 5th inning against the Yankees, allowing 7 runs in 4⅓ innings.

The average ERA of 1 point (1.64), which had been maintained throughout the season before the game on this day, was broken and rose to 2 points (2.00). He won the first place in the National League with an ERA of 2.32 at the end of the season. It is interesting that Gregorius acknowledged the talent of Ryu Hyun-jin’s ‘Hanwha junior’ Moon Dong-ju. 

Meanwhile, Gregorius, who has been on the decline for the past two years since 2021, was released from Philadelphia in August of last year. Since then, he has been preparing for the WBC without finding a new team in the major leagues.  

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