‘196cm curveballer’ Australia’s starting all-clean … There is also a memory of a good fight against Korean opponents

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From the first game of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), the Korean national team faced a tall young pitcher. What kind of player is this unknown pitcher?

The Korean baseball team will play the first match of Group B in the first round of the WBC finals against Australia at Tokyo Dome, Japan at 12:00 pm on the 9th.

At an official press conference held one day before the match, Australian coach Dave Nielsen (54) announced that he had selected left-hander Jack Oloclean (23) as the starting pitcher for the match against Korea. Initially, Warwick Saupold (33), who played for Hanwha, was a strong candidate, but Australia’s choice was different.

“It’s going to be a very important experience for a young pitcher, Olo Clean,” Nielsen said after announcing the selection.

Born in 2000 and a young player in his early 20s, Oloclean is 196cm tall and weighs 101kg. He signed with the Detroit Tigers in 2016 to begin his professional career. After polishing his skills in Australian Professional Baseball (ABL), he joined Single A in 2018, two years after his contract.

American media SB Nation, which evaluated Oloclyn at the time, paid attention to Oloclyn’s physique. At the age of 18, he already had a strong body of 193 cm and 91 kg. The media evaluated him as “having a three-quarter pitching form and the potential to possess above-average control.” His pitch speed ranged from 90 to 92 miles per hour (about 144.8 to 148.1 km)메이저놀이터.

The media that mentioned the possibility of developing the fastball picked the curveball as the best pitch for the all-clear. The media predicted that the curve would be the best measure of his growth, saying, “It shows movement and rotation that are not lacking to be evaluated as an above-average pitch.” However, compared to his physique, his speed was low, and the fact that he was not equipped with a ‘third pitch’ was cited as a weakness.

Around the same time, another media outlet, The Athletic, evaluated, “Because of his tall stature, OloClean can naturally throw a pitch that seems to take down even though it is a three-quarter pitching form.”

And five years have passed, but Alloclin has not passed Single A and is at a standstill. Last year, he appeared in 27 games (6 starts) in the top single A, posting a record of 2 wins, 1 loss and 3 holds with an earned run average of 4.01.

In the 2022-23 season, he played in the Australian League for the first time in 5 years. Olo Clean, who pitched in 7 games in Adelaide, recorded an ERA of 3.27 without a win or loss. He also pitched in the last game of the season against Geelong Korea, which was dominated by Korean players, and recorded 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and no runs in 4 innings.

Against Alloclin at the time, Geelong could not get on base except for a walk by Kim Kyu-seong (26, KIA) and an infield hit by Kwon Kwang-min (26, Hanwha) in the first inning. However, when Kwon Kwang-min tried to steal the base, he lost the start due to his pitching form and showed that he could not block it at all. In the end, Korean batters against Australia can also be a key point for bold running base play.

Alloclin said, “(Korea) is a great team as everyone knows. It is difficult to pick a player to be wary of,” he said. “They are a team that is respected. I will do my best every time I play against a batter.”

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