Wil Crowe Joins Kia Tigers with Eyes on Success in the KBO League

CHARLESTON: Newly signed Kia Tigers pitcher Wil Crowe is set to bring his competitive spirit to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) League in 2024. The 29-year-old right-hander, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals in Major League Baseball (MLB), signed a one-year deal worth up to US$1 million with the Tigers. Crowe, who views himself as a fierce competitor, aims to make a significant impact on the 11-time Korean Series champions.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Crowe is focused on being a reliable starter for the team, aiming to pitch deep into games and contribute to the Tigers' winning culture. His journey to the KBO began unexpectedly. Last year, while tending to his infant daughter in the early hours, Crowe would watch KBO postseason games, developing an interest in the league's vibrant atmosphere and intense competition.

Crowe's MLB career began with the Washington Nationals in 2020, where he made three starts before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2021, he became a key starter for the Pirates, leading the team with 25 starts. However, his subsequent seasons were marred by shoulder inflammation and a reduced role as a reliever. After a stint in the minors in 2023, Crowe spent the offseason regaining his health and confidence, particularly with his fastball velocity returning to 96 mph.

The Tigers have expressed their trust in Crowe's diverse pitch repertoire, planning to utilize him as a starting pitcher. Crowe is excited about the opportunity to demonstrate his skills in the KBO and is particularly confident in his six-pitch mix, which includes a sweeper, a slider variant. This pitch choice was influenced by Erick Fedde, Crowe's former Nationals teammate, who found success in the KBO with a similar approach.

Crowe's adjustment to the KBO will also involve adapting to the league's distinct style, including prevalent bat flips and high-level bat-to-ball skills. He is prepared to face the challenge with his best pitches and a strategy to engage hitters effectively.

In addition to his professional aspirations, Crowe is eager to immerse himself in Korean culture and life, embracing this new chapter both on and off the field. With a strong desire to win and contribute to the team, Crowe's addition to the Kia Tigers marks an exciting development for the upcoming KBO season.

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