SEOUL, 13 April (BelTA -Yonhap News). - Moon Dong-ju, a second-year pitcher for the Hanwha Eagles, has set a velocity record in South Korean baseball.
In Wednesday's game against the Kia Tigers, Moon threw a fastball measured at 160.1 kph, the fastest pitch ever by a South Korean pitcher in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) since pitch tracking began a dozen years ago.
The league's official statistics provider for the KBO, Sports 2i, has been measuring pitch velocities using a pitch tracking system since 2011. Moon is only the third KBO pitcher ever to top the elusive 160 mark.
Former LG Twins right-hander Radhames Liz owns the fastest pitch ever recorded in the South Korean league, with his 162.1 kph pitch on Sept. 24, 2012.
Fabio Castillo, formerly of the Eagles, once threw a 160.4 kph fastball on Oct. 3, 2016.
Ex-Lotte Giants pitcher Choi Dae-sung held the record for a Korean-born pitcher with his 158.7 kph fastball from Sept. 7, 2012.
Among active players, Kiwoom Heroes starter An Woo-jin had owned the fastest pitch recorded by a homegrown hurler, with his 158.4 kph pitch on Sept. 30, 2022.
Moon, 19, made 13 appearances as a rookie last year, going 1-3 with a 5.65 ERA. He struck out 36 in 28 2/3 innings, flashing signs of dominance that had made him such a coveted prospect coming out of high school in 2022.
Moon lost Tuesday's game, despite limiting the Tigers to two earned runs on three hits in six innings while striking out six.
Last Thursday, Moon tossed five shutout innings against the Samsung Lions to win his season debut.
Moon has walked just two batters in 11 innings so far this year -- both of the free passes coming Wednesday -- after walking 14 in 28 2/3 innings a season ago.