Third year pro, third tae kwon do mark… “I’m gonna throw my arm out”.

Lee Yi-ri, 21, a left-handed hard-throwing pitcher for the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization, has already earned his third Korean flag in his third year of professional baseball.

Named to the final roster for the Hangzhou 2023 Asian Games baseball team announced on Monday, Lee said he’s ready to “go out there and throw my arm off” against the Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul.

Lee has started 11 games this season, going 5-3 with a 2.55 ERA.

While his velocity has been a bit shaky, with 41 walks in 49 1/3 innings, his command is strong, with a fastball that tops out at 153 mph and 68 strikeouts.

After competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in his first year as a professional and the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March this year, he is now a regular on the Korean national team.

Recognized as one of the best baseball players in Korea, he says, “It feels great to be selected, but I also feel a sense of responsibility to do well. It’s a new feeling to be selected for the national team for all three times, but I’m determined to go out there and do well.”

After starting the season early with a WBC appearance, Lee will now travel to the Asian Games in October.

Managing his fitness has become a determining factor in his performance this year.

“I’m going to work out a lot and eat good food as I’ve always done,” Lee said.

Along with Lee, KIA also named left-handed bullpen pitcher Choi Ji-min, 20, to the national team.

Choi has emerged as a key part of the KIA bullpen this year, going 2-2 with a 1.63 ERA in 23 games with one save and three holds.

“It’s something I never imagined (before the season started),” Choi said. I was expecting (to start) a little bit because I was in important situations, but it’s a different feeling now that I’ve been selected,” Choi said. “There’s still a lot of season left, so I’m not going to get excited, but I’m going to do my part in any situation.”

Lee Yi-ri, who has a junior in the national team, said, “Jimin’s performance is very good. I hope he will have good results at the Asian Games.”

In addition to the two, KIA also named outfielder Choi Won-jun (26) to the national team 안전놀이터.

Currently, Choi is a member of the Korean Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commerce), but he is set to join the team next Tuesday after being discharged from the army, making him a de facto KIA player.

“Choi Won-jun didn’t perform well in the Futures (second team) League this year due to injuries, so I wouldn’t have thought of him (being selected) myself,” said KIA head coach Kim Jong-guk.

“It’s too early to think about it now, we’ll think about it in August,” he said, referring to the gap in the squad when they joined the national team.