KIA announced on Dec. 17 last year that its players will study in the U.S. at the height of its winter vacation in the KBO League. KIA announced that it will send five of its players and two coaches to its Driveline Baseball Center located in Seattle. It was not just one or two days of field trips. It was a long-term schedule of 33 nights and 34 days.
Driveline Baseball Center (hereinafter referred to as Driveline) is a place that many Major League players visit for winter training. In addition to systematic training programs, players’ pitching mechanisms are improved by utilizing cutting-edge technology. With many pitchers showing better performance after training, Kia has emerged as a star academy. It dispatched five players to lead its team’s future to Jung Hae-young, Lee Eui-ri, Yoon Young-cheol, Hwang Dong-ha, and Kwak Do-gyu, and sent coach Jeong Jae-hoon and Lee Dong-geol to manage players and experience advanced culture.
Despite a long schedule, Kia’s internal judgment is that it also made tangible results while its players expressed satisfaction. “Based on the reports we have, the speed of the players’ speed has improved by 3 to 5 kilometers,” said KIA’s general manager Shim Jae-hak. In fact, some players, such as Yoon Young-chul, have clearly increased their speed since the Canbury camp bullpen session, drawing keen expectations from many people. However, Shim’s eyes are conservative. He does not believe in magic. KIA says that this is just the beginning.
“It is a very good situation if we improve our speed in a short period of time. However, some questions arise as to whether increased speed can maintain the speed limit or not,” Shim said. If you could change everything about the player in a month or so, you and I would have sent him to the driveline. This is not the case. It is supposed to take effect when players constantly accept these techniques and establish a broad understanding of them. KIA’s dispatch to Seattle also focuses more on this aspect.
“Rather than performing in a short period of time, my biggest goal was to let the players experience the biomechanics system and let our promising pitchers continue to maintain certain routines,” general manager Shim said. “Secondly, there are some players in our team who need to modify the pitch design. For example, there are phenomena in which Yoon Young-chul or Lee Eui-ri are pushed out when the grip is removed from their hands. It was important to see those things with a high-speed camera, check them with your eyes, fix them, and make routines.”
There is a different dimension between just thinking with your senses and feeling your pitch through a high-speed camera. This accurate measurement of a player’s current condition is the most important part of the driveline. After that, we will discuss and apply how to solve the problem and how to make a loss-free pitch. The center’s biggest advantage is that it has enough data from the experience of fixing 마카오토토 major league players.
In fact, 33 nights were short to solve all the problems of KIA players. However, I realized something and came back. The pace of development will inevitably change in the future. General manager Shim also stressed, “You must have come in knowing your strengths and weaknesses for sure. Based on that, we are pushing ahead with practice and process.”
Coaches might have helped the players in training, but that is not the case. Rather, the coaches were all in class. “The leaders didn’t go to see the players, they really went to learn how to coach them,” Shim said. “I took a class with the driveline coaches on how to apply it to the players. I have a doctoral degree in the data team, and I also sent him to prepare for how to accumulate and utilize data,” Shim said. “I will build up the capabilities of the entire team, which are not limited to players.”
Shim said the dispatch is just the beginning. Through active investment, the company plans to actively accept various advanced culture such as biomecronics and lay the foundation for the team’s performance. “We are talking to each other through Hawkeye to some extent now, but there is not much raw data accumulated,” Shim said. “We need to accumulate data to measure something immediately,” he said. “The manpower is also important. I consulted Yomiuri and Softbank of Japanese professional baseball, and they said that Japan also uses biomecronics equipment, but it is not easy to find a mechanism coach who can solve it well.” The plan is to gradually solve this problem with continuous interest and investment.
“Not only the driveline, but we are going through the process of systemization in every way,” Shim said. As I said when I first came here, I thought the system of young players was important, and dispatching driveline and Australian league is a part of it. There are some things I am preparing even after this season. I am thinking of investing in biomecronics and equipment. In that respect, I try not to be second to other teams,” he said.