“It’s too bad I wasted a few years”.
KIA Tigers catcher Han Jun-soo, 24, was one of the bountiful harvests of the 2023 season. He literally came out of nowhere. He was not in the active roster for the 2023 season, and no one expected a solid option at the most vulnerable position to emerge from the Future Team. On January 5, he was reinstated as a developmental player after being discharged from the military.
Han Jun-soo was not the same player. He was drafted in the first round of the 2018 draft, but he couldn’t focus on baseball. He was given no opportunities and spent more time wandering. Eventually, he enlisted in the military. It was a time of self-reflection, and when I got out, I had a different mindset. He lost 20 kilograms and gave baseball another try. He became a regular catcher for the Future Team, where his defense and batting (.309) improved.
On June 25, he was promoted to the first team. It had been four years since 2019. Upon his return, he showed that he was a force to be reckoned with. With his unflappable defense and home runs, he established himself as the second catcher behind starter Kim Tae-gun. As time went on, he got more and more chances to start. In 48 games and 94 at-bats, he batted .265 with two doubles, 카지노사이트킴 two home runs, 12 RBIs and a .686 OPS.
Manager Kim Jong-kook said,
“I didn’t expect Jun-soo to be so good. His batting and defense improved a lot. He will be given more opportunities next year,” he said. It’s as if he’s been selected to succeed Kim Tae-gun. There was so much to be gained by focusing on baseball instead of other things.
When we met at the Kin Baseball Stadium, Han Jun-soo said, “My shoulder was a little bad after I got out of the army. The manager of the second team told me that if I didn’t get sick, I could play as a designated hitter or first baseman. I wanted to be good enough to get the chance, so I did my best and gained experience, and then I was given a chance to play in the first team. Before I enlisted, I was unfocused and wandering. After I got out, I knew I had to work hard. I regretted the past few years. It’s just the beginning,” he laughed.
As for the 2023 season, “It wasn’t a full season. It’s still a long way off in all aspects. There were a lot of pitchers I hadn’t seen before. I kept watching the games (from the bench), and I thought, ‘I want to do that,’ so I prepared. It helped that I watched a lot of games. When I went out there, I wanted to win, and I knew I had to be ready to win,” he added.
I’m not satisfied that I did a little better. It’s just the beginning.
He was one of the hardest-working players at the final camp in Okinawa. “I worked a lot on my throwing. Pitch clock will be introduced next year. There will be a lot of runners, and I’m preparing for that. The pitchers are going to have a faster tempo and throw harder. It starts when the catcher throws the ball, so you have to throw when the pitcher is ready,” he explained.
The final camp was also fruitful. “It was a really fun camp. I got a lot of things out of it, both defensively and offensively. I worked a lot on my bat, trying to improve my distance to center field. It was pretty successful. The coaches told me a lot of things about timing and how to make sure I’m hitting the ball in the right spot in my swing, so it’s going well,” she said.
He is also determined to continue training during the off-season. “You have to prepare well in all aspects, whether it’s strength or speed. “Next year, I’m going to work harder because I want to make sure I don’t get sick. I’m going to prepare well until spring training and create something of my own and go into the season. Now that I’ve had the experience this year, I’m determined to do even better next year.”