|Lotte Giants – No. 38|
|Born:November 10, 1978|
|April 7, 2001, for the SK Wyverns|
|KBO statistics |
(through 2011 season)
|Earned run average||1.93|
|Career highlights and awards|
|World Baseball Classic|
|2009 Los Angeles||Team|
|2006 San Diego||Team|
|2015 WBSC Premier12|
Tae-Hyon Chong (Hangul: 정대현, Hanja: 鄭大炫; born November 10, 1978 in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea) is a South Korean underhand pitcher, playing for the Lotte Giants in Korea Professional Baseball. He bats and throws right-handed. Chong is considered as a submarine pitcher with an unusual delivery. He throws a sinking fastball (sinker) usually sitting around 80 mph and a curveball as his primary pitches.
In 1999, as a junior at Kyung Hee University, Chong was selected as a member of the South Korea national baseball team for the 1999 Intercontinental Cup in Sydney. At the Intercontinental Cup, he was 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 18.1 innings. In Korea's first game of the round-robin tournament against Cuba, Chong came on to pitch in relief and led his team to a 4-3 victory, which was South Korea's first victory over Cuba at international baseball competitions organized by the IBAF. Besides, he pitched an 8.2 inning shutout victory over the Netherlands with nine strikeouts.
In 2000, as a senior Chong was selected for the South Korea national baseball team for the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney, Australia. As the only amateur player on the 24-man roster, Chong started two critical games against Team USA, facing Roy Oswalt as a starter in both of the games. In the first game against the United States in the round-robin, he pitched seven scoreless innings with five strikeouts, allowing six hits. In the semifinal game against the United States, he gave up only two runs and five hits in 6.1 innings with six strikeouts. Due to his impressive performance, Team South Korea eventually won their first Olympic medal.
Notable international careers
|1999||Australia||Intercontinental Cup||7th||1-1; 1.47 ERA (3 G, 18.1 IP, 3 ER, 21 K)|
|2000||Australia||Olympic Games||0-0; 1.35 ERA (2 G, 13.1 IP, 2 ER, 11 K)|
In 2002, Chong had a better season, pitching 42 innings in 24 games with a 3.21 ERA and 30 strikeouts. In November, he was selected for the South Korean national team and led his team to the silver medal at the 2002 Intercontinental Cup. In the round-robin tournament, Chong racked up 11 strikeouts against Panama, allowing 2 runs and 6 hits in 5.2 innings pitched, and pitched a 5-1 complete game victory over Dominican Republic. Chong started for South Korea in the gold medal game, and allowed 2 runs over 6 innings in a 1-2 loss to Cuba. He tied José Ibar of Cuba for the Cup lead in strikeouts.
In 2004, Chong appeared in 52 games with 69.1 innings pitched and posted a record of 2-3 with a 2.34 ERA, 2 saves and a career-best 16 holds, allowing 62 hits and 2 home runs.
In 2005, Chong got an injury at his arm and missed the first half of the season, undergoing arthroscopic surgery. He came back from injury in the second half of the season and posted a remarkable ERA of 0.37, racking up 3 saves and 6 holds and allowing only 1 earned run in 24.1 innings pitched.
Chong had his career-best season in 2007, when Cabrera left via free agency to the Lotte Giants and Chong became the full-time closer for the Wyverns. Chong posted career-highs in saves (27) and strikeouts (65) with a 0.92 ERA, and allowed only 50 hits and 3 home runs in 78.1 innings pitched. He became the first pitcher to have a sub-1.00 ERA in 70+ innings pitched since 1995, when South Korean pitching legend Sun Dong-Yeol posted a 0.49 ERA in 109.1 innings pitched.
In 2008, Chong was called up for the South Korea national baseball team and participated in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games held in Beijing, China. He led his team to the gold medal, pitching 4 innings with 7 strikeouts, allowing one run and saving two. In the gold medal game, closer Chong contributed to escaping the one-out bases-loaded jam by inducing a game-ending double play along with battery mate Jin Kab-Yong to edge Cuba 3-2.
In 2010, Chong was sidelined in the early part of the season due to a chronic knee problem. He came back to the bullpen in May but was demoted from his role as Wyverns closer, losing the job to Lee Seung-Ho. Chong completed a strong season as a flexible set-up man and an occasional closer as well, posting a 1.40 ERA with 8 holds and 4 saves in 49 games.
KBO career statistics
Notable international careers
|2002||Cuba||Intercontinental Cup|| 1-1, 2.18 ERA (3 G, 20.2 IP, 5 ER, 24 K) |
|2006||United States||World Baseball Classic||0-0, 5.40 ERA (3 G, 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 K)|
|2007||Chinese Taipei||Asian Baseball Championship||0-0, 1 SV, 0.00 ERA (2 G, 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 K)|
|2008||Chinese Taipei||Final Olympic Qualification Tournament||0-0, 1 SV, 0.00 ERA (2 G, 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 K)|
|2008||China||Olympic Games||0-0, 2 SV, 2.25 ERA (3 G, 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 K)|
|2009||United States||World Baseball Classic||0-0, 0.00 ERA (3 G, 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 K)|
|2010||China||Asian Games||1-0, 0.00 ERA (2 G, 1.1 IP, 0 ER)|