‘sweeper? Slider?’ A new type of pitch developed by Ahn Woo-jin, different from Ohtani’s Sweeper
Various opinions are flying around Kiwoom Heroes An Woo-jin (24)’s new pitch.
Ahn Woo-jin started the match against KT Wiz in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 25th and recorded a victory in 7 innings, 1 hit, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts and no runs. He is recording an overwhelming performance this season with 2 wins and 1 loss with an average ERA of 0.84 in 5 games (32 innings).
In the pitching analysis table of An Woo-jin, who recorded 95 pitches in the last game, 6 pitches classified as ‘other’ pitches were recorded. The Kiwoom power analysis team, which was aware that An Woo-jin was practicing a sweeper, thought this pitch was a sweeper.
However, in an interview after the match, Ahn Woo-jin said, “It is still embarrassing to say, but I want to say that it is a slider with a large angle. It is not finished.” The next day, he emphasized again, “I am not a sweeper.” A Kiwoom official also said on the 26th, “Ahn Woo-jin did not throw with a sweeper grip. He grabbed the slider grip and threw it, but made a difference. The ball moved in a different trajectory that was clearly different from the existing slider, and it seems that the power analysis team thought it was a sweeper.”
The sweeper is a pitch that has recently been in the limelight as the major leagues have newly classified it as an official pitch. A pitch similar to a slider with strong horizontal movement, Shohei Otani (Angels) used it as the deciding pitch to strike out teammate Mike Trout, the last batter in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) final, and became a hot topic.
According to Kiwoom foreign pitcher Eric Yokishi, who taught Ahn Woo-jin the sweeper grip, the sweeper is a pitch that is thrown with the feeling of throwing a curve while holding a two-seam grip. The movement of the ball is similar to that of the slider, but the method of throwing is different. Ahn Woo-jin’s new pitch is more like a slider variant than a sweeper.
When asked about Ahn Woo-jin’s new pitch type in a pre-match interview, Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki smiled and said, “It’s difficult to answer the technical part of the pitchers,” and handed the question over to Sporty commentator Yang Sang-moon, who was with him in the dugout. Commentator Yang Sang-moon also commented, “The ball thrown by An Woo-jin yesterday is difficult to see as a sweeper.” To me, it felt like a ghost slider,” he laughed. 안전놀이터
Ahn Woo-jin, who has risen to the ranks of the best aces in the KBO League, is not satisfied and is constantly pursuing change. Fans are increasingly looking forward to how far Ahn Woo-jin can forge his new weapon and what kind of power he can show.