Ahead of this season, Shim Jun-seok (19), who signed an international player contract with Pittsburgh and took on the major league challenge, is currently sweating at a team training facility located in Bradenton, Florida.
It has not yet been decided at what level he will play this season, so he has not been transferred to a minor league team. There is no problem with the physical condition, but there are more or less problems with unexpected administrative procedures. While it seems to be resolved sooner or later, Shim Jun-seok seems to be using the present as an opportunity for self-training. He is practicing and experimenting more, rather than actual battles that must produce results.
Shim Jun-seok’s current fastball speed ranges from an average of 94 miles per hour (about 151.3 km) to a maximum of 98 miles (about 157.7 km). He is currently doing balancing exercises with the Pittsburgh coaching staff at the training facility. He has very good shoulders and innate physique conditions, so if he adds more strength to his body, this restraint is likely to increase naturally.
I also practice breaking balls as much as I have time. In addition to making a powerful fastball, as the club sees it as a future starting resource, it is necessary to make at least two decisive pitches that can work at the major league level.
Shim Jun-seok’s fastball class ranks high in the United States. He also received a 60 on the 20/80 scale of the pipeline on the official MLB website (MLB.com). Even if it is not up to ‘S level’, ‘A level’ or higher is sufficient. There is another weapon that received 60 here, and it is the curve. It is a curve like a waterfall falling from a high RBI. At the high school level, in fact, the fastball-curve combo was enough to take on hitters.
However, the evaluation of other breaking balls and pitches is a little thin. Overcoming this in the US is a challenge. In response, Shim Jun-seok began to practice the slider and change-up he had been throwing before, as well as the sweeper, which has recently been in the limelight in the major leagues, and started solving tasks in earnest. Shim Jun-seok was good at throwing sliders, but he wasn’t a slider with strong horizontal movement like a sweeper.
Sweeper became famous through Shohei Ohtani (29‧LA Angels). Of course, in the past, there were pitchers such as Sergio Romo who threw sliders that varied horizontally, but recently, with the development of analytical techniques that can distinguish sliders and sweepers, the trend is to throw them as separate pitches. The combination of a two-seam or sinker that rolls toward the right-hander’s body, and a sweeper that emphasizes lateral movement rather than vertical movement, is attracting attention as a solution against right-handed hitters. 안전놀이터
The key to a sweeper is to apply ‘topspin’ with the idea of holding a two-seam grip and throwing a curve. He has to kick the ball hard. Although the principle is similar to the topspin of the curve that Shim Jun-seok threw, it is an analysis that the power of the index finger is relatively more important than the middle finger in the sweeper, while the power of the middle finger is important in the curve. Shim Jun-seok takes Ohtani’s sweeper grip as it is.
It is not easy to polish them all at once. You have to throw it for a long time and find a sense. However, the principle of spin is somewhat similar to that of the curve. It may be a pitch that Shim Jun-seok, who is good at throwing curves, can feel. Attention is focusing on whether it will be a hidden card for Shim Jun-seok, who is aiming for a major league call-up within three years, that is, a major league call-up before 2026.