Ki-joo Han

From BR Bullpen

Ki-joo Han

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 198 lb.

Ki-joo Han (한기주) pitches for the KIA Tigers and has also appeared on the South Korean national team, including in the Olympics. He routinely tops 93 mph.

Han was on the South Korean junior national team. In the 2004 World Junior Championship, he was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA and struck out 22 in 11 1/3 IP to lead the tournament in strikeouts. Han made his professional debut in 2006, going 10-11 with a save and a 3.26 ERA in 44 games for the KIA Tigers. In 2007, Han became KIA's closer. He went 2-3 with 25 saves and a 2.43 ERA in 55 outings, allowing 53 hits in 70 1/3 IP. He tied for fifth in the Korea Baseball Organization in saves. In the 2007 Asian Championship, Han pitched two scoreless innings against the Japanese national team, allowing two hits and striking out two against a star-studded lineup.

In the 2008 Olympics, Han was the worst performer for a 9-0 Korean team that won Gold. He began the Olympics as South Korea's closer. He entered against Team USA with a 6-4 lead in the 9th and promptly allowed a home run to Mike Hessman. After a single by Taylor Teagarden and a double by Brian Barden, he was yanked in favor of Suk-min Yoon. Against the Japanese national team, he entered with a 5-2 lead and gave up a triple to Takahiro Arai. After a run-scoring error, he gave up a Shuichi Murata double and was relieved by Hyuk Kwon. Manager Kyung-moon Kim said "It's apparent that we no longer can rely on Han in situations where we need the win." and the Korea Times reported that Han looked like an "overwhelmed Little Leaguer." He did make one more key appearance, replacing Jung Bong with a 8-5 lead against the Taiwan national team. He allowed a sacrifice fly to make it 8-6 and a 2-run double an inning later as Taiwan tied it; Korea rallied to win, giving Han a 1-0 mark in Beijing despite his 19.31 ERA and 7 hits allowed in 2 1/3 IP.