One of the recent trends leading the baseball world is ‘speed-up’. In addition to game time, pitchers’ velocity has become much faster than before.

In the past, there were pitchers who threw fastballs, but now, based on the development of training techniques and measurement technology, it is evaluated that the overall speed has been upgraded. The U.S. Major League has already been steadily improving such a graph since 10 years ago, and Japan has started to follow suit. But we have been relatively slow. It wasn’t until last year that the average speed of the league began to rise meaningfully, but the gap between them widened.

Even in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), it is revealed that we cannot keep up with this trend. The symbolic number of 150 km per hour, which we feel is a ‘fast ball’, is now considered a level that must be basically taken in order to achieve good results on the international stage. In fact, even in some countries that are said to be at a lower level than ours, 150 km seems uncommon. Conversely, in Korea, there is not a single pitcher with an average of 150 km.

Japan, the same Asian country, has already gone out. All of the top pitchers in the league that have appeared in the last 10 years throw fast balls. Starting with Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and Kodai Senga (New York Mets), Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix) and Loki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte) have recently joined.

Not only did they grow up receiving basic training unique to Japan, but they can also be seen as an early generation who accepted tracking data and biomechanics in earnest from childhood. In recent years, Japan has also been more interested in exercise mechanics than the United States, and efforts are being made to incorporate this into its own baseball culture. As a result, even before that, as an Asian, there is a lot of restraint that makes no sense.

This achievement is also being revealed in this WBC. Ohtani, who already showed off his fastball while playing in the major leagues, threw a top speed of 100 miles per hour (about 161 km) in a match against China on the 9th. On the 11th, Sasaki, who appeared against the Czech Republic, reached 101.9 miles (164 km) at his highest speed. Yamamoto, who played against Australia on the 12th, also hit the ball with a maximum distance of 96.6 miles (about 155.5 km). It was like this from the first game when my body wasn’t in 100% condition yet. There is a high possibility that they will renew their highest velocity one after another during the competition.

It wasn’t just the ball that made the effort to hit that number. Sasaki threw the ball over 100 mph consistently, and Ohtani also recorded an average velocity in the upper 90 mph range. Yamamoto’s four-seam fastball average speed also reached 95 miles (153 km). In addition to the three players, the Japanese national team consists of all pitchers who can throw at or around 150 km. Here, even the first ball and the deciding ball are good. In Japan, 150km is no longer a criterion for distinguishing power pitchers. It’s just basic. 원벳원 토토

On the contrary, in Korea, there are almost no indigenous selections that exceed 150 km on average. Ahn Woo-jin broke through that wall, but Moon Dong-ju and other players have to wait and see if they can achieve such results in many innings. It’s the same that the bullpen pitchers are not special at speed. The gap between the Korean and Japanese mounds has widened for more than five years simply by looking at the league average velocity. If you add up the overall perfection, it may have been happening for more than 10 years. If you’re just envying it, it’s just a split second between 15 and 20 years.

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