“Wes Benjamin (30, kt Wiz) was the best enough to stop.”
Benjamin, a kt foreign pitcher, is celebrating his second season in the KBO this year. He joined in the middle of the season as a substitute for William Cuevas (33) in the middle of last year, but in 2023, he started to quench by training with the team from the beginning.
Benjamin showed off his best skills last year even on the name tag of a substitute player. He pitched in 17 games, where he went 5-4 with a 2.70 earned run average and 77 strikeouts in 96⅔ innings with a WHIP (percentage on base allowed per inning) of 1.02. He led the team’s postseason and was very active in fall baseball, successfully renewing his contract with the club.
Benjamin is currently improving his physical condition by joining Team Spring Camp in Tucson, Arizona, USA. He is also an ambitious player himself. Normally, foreign pitchers do not pitch until they are in good condition, but Benjamin volunteered to pitch from the bullpen from the first turn. He joined the camp after preparing well enough to record a maximum speed of 143 km from the first bullpen pitch about 10 days ago.
Coach Lee Kang-cheol, who is in charge of the kt spring camp, was also satisfied with Benjamin’s preparation. Rather, he explained that Benjamin was too motivated to stop him. Coach Lee smiled in an interview with Sports Time, saying, “Benjamin is showing everything in the bullpen pitching, including the speed that was the best (last season) to the point of being dried up.” 슬롯사이트
KT expects a lot from Benjamin. He must take responsibility for the vacancy of Audrey Samer Despine (36), who left the team at the end of last season. Despine served as an ace and an innings eater for the three years he played for kt from 2020 to 2022. Benjamin needs to play his role in order for the rotation to run smoothly as planned by the team. Unlike last year, from the beginning, we are working hand in hand with our colleagues. Also, since I have already taken good care of my body to show off my best condition, I am full of anticipation that I will perform better.
Other foreign players besides Benjamin are also evaluated as having prepared well. Pitcher Bo Schulser (29), like Benjamin, improved his physical condition enough to volunteer to pitch in the bullpen from the first turn. Director Lee said, “Shulser pitched live and is getting better than I was worried about. He is adapting to the official ball in the changeup. I think he will pitch well after time.”
Regarding outfielder Anthony Alford (29), manager Lee explained, “Alford saw what he had (last season), so he renewed the contract. This year, the defense seems to have prepared a lot.”
Last year, kt suffered a lot of difficulties in managing the season due to injuries and sluggishness of foreign players who were supposed to hold the center. Attention is focusing on whether this year, with Benjamin at the forefront, they will be able to pack the best power.