The first 10 wins will be very special for the ‘Ace’.
Doosan Bears right-hander Kwak Bin, 24, is a late bloomer compared to his high school and professional peers Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom Heroes) and Kang Baek-ho (KT Wiz). Doosan’s first pick in the 2018 rookie draft, he underwent elbow surgery after posting a 3-1 record, one save and four shutouts with a 7.55 ERA in 32 games in his rookie season. After more than a year of rehabilitation, he was ready to return for the 2020 season, but was forced to take another year off after experiencing elbow pain again.
Kwak-Bin finally earned a spot in the Doosan starting rotation in 2021, and his stat sheet that year was literally a story of half success. He showed that he was in good shape with a fastball that reached over 150 kilometers per hour, but he struggled with his control and was labeled as a prospect. He ended up with a 4-7 record and a 4.10 ERA in 21 games.
The 2022 season was the year Kwak began to rise to the level of his peers. He went 8-9 with a 3.78 ERA in 27 games that year. He also lowered his ERA for the season, which was a clear indication of the team’s faith in him.
Kwak-Bin has been on an upward curve since his debut, and this season he’s taken it to another level. No longer a prospect, he now takes the mound with the title of ‘homegrown ace’. His record through August 8 is 9-4 with a 2.46 ERA in 15 games. He’s on pace to win his first 10 games.
In his 15 starts this season, he’s taken the mound nine times when his team is on a losing streak, and he’s pitched in relief seven times. His value goes beyond the obvious metrics of innings pitched and wins.
He did have one ninth inning, but it wasn’t a bad experience. On June 6, Kwak-Bin started against the KT Wiz in Jamsil and pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. He took the loss in the team’s 1-3 loss, but he did his job as a starter by going a long enough inning.
That’s why he’s starting to look toward regulation. With 84 innings pitched this season, he’s only one or two starts away from reaching regulation. It would be a grand coronation for him to reach 10 wins for the first time in his career. This is because if last year was more about showing promise, this year will be about solidifying his status as the team’s go-to pitcher.먹튀검증
If he continues to pitch at his current pace, he could be in contention for the ERA title. There’s a lot at stake for Kwak-Bin in August, including reaching 10 wins, going into regulation, and joining the ERA tiebreaker.