Kim Min-kyu, 24, who made a name for himself as the Doosan Bears’ fall Cinderella three years ago, has returned home safely after completing his national defense obligations.
Kim Min-kyu, who was a member of the Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commercial), was ordered to complete his military service on June 12, 2023. He enlisted on December 13, 2021, and fulfilled his military duty for 547 days (1 year, 5 months, and 30 days) before returning to the Doosan Bears.
Out of Whimungo, Kim was selected by Doosan with the 30th overall pick in the second round of the 2018 KBO Draft. He made a name for himself with Doosan fans in his third year of professional baseball, going 1-2 with a 4.89 ERA in 29 games in 2020. He earned the nickname “Autumn Cinderella” for his stellar performances in the playoffs that year (2-1, 1H, 0 ERA) and the Korean Series (3-1, 1H, 1.42 ERA).
Kim Min-kyu has been in the starting rotation since joining the club. In 2022, he appeared in 20 games (15 starts) and went 10-1 with a 3.89 ERA, tied for second in the Futures League with Lee Sang-young and Lee Won-jun, and this year he went 4-1 with 스포츠토토 a 3.51 ERA in eight games (seven starts). His last game as a member of the military was a two-inning no-hitter against the LG Electronics on Oct. 10.
After successfully completing his military service, Kim will join the Doosan first team squad on the 13th to check his performance in front of manager Lee Seung-yeop, who will be meeting him for the first time. “Kim Min-kyu will join the first team for now. “He’s a pitcher I’ve never seen before, and he’s been away from the team for more than a season, so he needs to adapt to the team atmosphere. If I do well in practice, I will see the situation and register for the first team roster.”
Kim Min-kyu is an all-weather pitcher who can be used in both the starting and bullpen roles. His ability to go the distance gives him a wide range of uses, including long relief and substitute appearances. Doosan is currently going through the trials and tribulations of its rookies, including Choi Seung-yong and Kim Dong-joo, in their first full seasons of starting. The team hasn’t even decided when Dylan Pyle will be replaced by a foreign pitcher. Kim Min-kyu returned to the team just in time to complete his military service.