Became the best pitcher in 2022, beating even Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG Landers). However, he did not compete in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). An Woo-jin (24, Kiwoom Heroes) has grown as much as he is sick.
Ahn Woo-jin started the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League away match against the Doosan Bears held at Jamsil Stadium in Songpa-gu, Seoul on the 13th and won the first victory of the season by pitching 6 innings, 3 hits, 5 strikeouts and no runs.
On this day, rather than the news of the first victory, 메이저놀이터which was considered a matter of time, more attention was focused on whether Ahn Woo-jin could break the record of Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha Eagles), who threw the ball at 160 km per hour the previous day. According to the pitching analysis table, Ahn Woo-jin threw a fast ball at 160 km per hour.
However, the 5 pitches thrown against Heo Gyeong-min, the second batter at the end of the 1st inning, were recorded at 159.8 km per hour in Trackman, Kiwoom’s own speed measurement system. It was only 0.2km short of value. Based on the Pitch Tracking System (PTS) operated by Sports 2I, an official KBO record statistics company, it was recorded as 158.2 km.
Nevertheless, An Woo-jin reaped a valuable victory. Ace, who came to the mound while the team was shaking with 5 consecutive losses, tied the Doosan lineup tightly. He climbed the mound for the team despite his incomplete physical condition and performed his role as expected.
It is Ahn Woo-jin, who made a big success last year and won two crowns as a pitcher with 224 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.11. He will defend his title this season as well. He gave up just one run in 19 innings in three games. His strikeouts caught a whopping 29. Strikeouts are first and ERA is tied for fifth after four players who are keeping zero points, but they are likely to come down soon as they have only played two games yet.
The reason Ahn Woo-jin is more terrifying is that he is not obsessed with the fastball itself. On this day, he gave an exemplary answer, saying that he realized that accuracy is important despite the story that he missed 160km unfortunately. In fact, the fastest ball I threw that day did not remain as a good memory. Because he got a heavy hit from Heo Gyeong-min. He experienced once again that no matter how fast a ball is driven in the middle, he can lead to a hit.
This experience made Ahn Woo-jin stronger. Although he was unable to join the WBC national team due to controversy over school violence in the past, he is concentrating on polishing a new pitch after watching the pitching of world-class pitchers such as Shohei Ohtani (LAA). It is the latest popular sweeper. As a slider type ball, it does not have the vertical movement that Ahn Woo-jin uses, but it is a ball that flows quickly horizontally, and is recently increasing its value in the US Major League Baseball (MLB).
An Woo-jin is practicing this ball. Although the degree of perfection is not yet high, if mastered properly, Ahn Woo-jin can transform into a truly impregnable monster.
Of course, the dream of 160 km challenge continues. On the 12th, Hanwha Moon Dong-ju threw a 160.1km ball. It is the fastest ball thrown by a Korean in the history of the KBO League. An Woo-jin is one of those who are expected to throw 160 km someday. If Ahn Woo-jin is equipped with a 160 km fastball, the value will soar.