Kye-hyun Cho

From BR Bullpen

Kye-hyun Cho (조계현)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 191 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Kye-hyun Cho played for the Haitai Tigers (1989-1997), Samsung Lions (1998-1999) and Doosan Bears (2000-2001) of the Korea Baseball Organization, winning over 125 games. He twice led the league in wins and once in ERA.

Before turning pro, he was with the South Korean national team for the 1985 Intercontinental Cup, 1986 Amateur World Series, 1987 Intercontinental Cup and 1988 Olympics [1], winning Silver Medals in 1985 and 1986. He was then Haitai's first round draft pick. [2] He debuted in the 1989 KBO, going 7-9 with four saves and a 2.84 ERA while Haitai went on to win the 1989 Korean Series. He was 8th in the league in IP (174), tied Jin-woo Song for 9th in strikeouts (97) and was 10th in ERA (between Song and Kang-chul Lee). [3]

Cho was 14-13 with a 3.28 ERA in 1990, tying Hyeong-cheol Kye for the league lead in losses. He was also 4th in wins, tied Kang-chul Lee for the most complete games (10), 2nd in shutouts (5, one behind the legendary Dong-yol Son), 6th in IP (178 1/3, between Son and Yong-deok Han) and 5th in K (130, between Dong-hee Park and Tae-wan Kim). He had a 9-9, 3.25 record in the 1991 KBO. he beat Song and the Binggrae Eagles in Game 3 of the 1991 Korean Series; Haitai pulled off a sweep.

He got most of his saves in 1992, when he was 10-6 with 12 saves and a 2.94 ERA. He was 5th in ERA, 4th in saves and tied for 10th in games pitched (37). In 1993, he was even better at 17-6, 2.15 with one save and a WHIP under 1. He led the league in wins (two ahead of Sam-heum Jeong), was 4th in ERA, tied Min-chul Chung for 4th in complete games (10), tied for the shutout lead (4), was 3rd in IP (196 1/3, after Hak-kil Yoon and Jeong) and was 7th in K (118). He won Game 1 and Game 4 of the 1993 Korean Series as Haitai won the title.

In 1994, he was again dominating (18-5, 2.61). He tied Sang-hoon Lee for the win lead, was 7th in ERA, led in complete games (14), led in shutouts (5, one ahead of Min-chul Chung), was 2nd in IP (210, 8 behind Min-chul Chung) and was 6th with 135 strikeouts. The next year, his record fell to 9-6 but he set a new personal best in ERA (1.71). He won the ERA title, .30 ahead of Sang-hoon Lee. He did not win the KBO Gold Glove as the league's best pitcher, which went to Sang-hoon Lee.

The Kunsan native had one more big year, 1996: 16-7, 2.07. He tied Dae-jin Lee and Yong-soo Kim for 3rd in wins, led with 11 complete games, was second in ERA (2.07, .19 behind Dae-sung Koo), tied for 2nd in shutouts (3, one behind Min-chul Chung) and was 5th in IP (191 2/3, between Min-tae Jeong and Pil-jung Jin). It was his last season on the positive league leaderboards. He beat the Hyundai Unicorns' Min-tae Jeong in Game 5 of the 1996 Korean Series as the Tigers won another title.

He fell to 8-9, 3.71 in 1997 to end his Tigers career; they won the 1997 Korean Series for his 5th title in 9 years. In his first season with the Lions, 1998, he was 8-11 with a 5.21 ERA, tying for 6th in losses. In 1999, he was 0-3 with a 11.51 ERA, looking like he was at the end of the line. He was then released.

Picked up by Doosan, he was 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA in 2000 in a resurgent campaign. He was excellent in 2000 Korean Series Game 4, throwing seven shutout innings to beat Hyundai and avoid a sweep. He was 3-5 with a 5.28 ERA in 2001 to end his career. He won one more title, as the Bears took the 2001 Korean Series.

He was 126-92 with 64 complete games, 19 shutouts, 17 saves and a .578 winning percentage in 320 games.

Cho was pitching coach for the KIA Tigers (his old Haitai team) in 2002-2003 and Samsung from 2005-2009. He then was pitching coach for Doosan through 2011. He moved to the LG Twins as a coach from 2012-2014 with a stint as interim manager. He then was head coach of KIA from 2015-2017 then became their GM. He coached for South Korea when they won Gold in the 2014 Asian Games.