We (Hanwha Eagles) need to do well to make professional baseball fun.”
Park Sang-won, the guardian deity ahead of the new season, promised his team Hanwha to rebound.헤라카지노도메인
Park Sang-won from Hwimungo and Yonsei University is a right-handed pitcher who is considered to have heavy fastballs and sharp sliders as his strengths. He was called by the Hanwha Eagles as the 25th overall in the second and third rounds in 2017, and he recorded 11 wins, 9 losses, 17 saves, and 36 holds with an ERA of 3.57 in 279 games (272.1 innings) until last year.
If Park Sang-won performs well as a closing pitcher this year, Hanwha will gain huge strength. Photo = Reporter Chun Jung-hwan
Park Sang-won, in particular, had a significant period last year. He adapted well to his new position as a closing pitcher, and firmly locked the back door of the Hanwha Eagles.
He got off to a bad start. He failed to make the opening entry in the spring camp due to injury. However, he was not swayed. He joined the first team in mid-April and continued to pitch stably. His final performance was 5 wins, 3 losses, 16 saves and an ERA of 3.65 in 55 games (61.2 innings).
Park Sang-won, an accomplishment that deserves applause, was not satisfactory, however. He was somewhat shaken with his monthly ERA of 10.38 in October last year. “It was my first season (from 2021 to 2022) when I properly met him after being discharged from the military. I agonized over why it was bad at the last minute. It got worse as I tried to change things that were bad and supplement them,” Park said. “I thought about why I did well in the first half of the year, but I think I simply played against the batter by maximizing my strengths. That helped me a lot in the competition. In the second half of the year, I just tried to block him too much. I should have attacked him more, but I was defending myself.”
“I get a chance to save (when I play the season), but I can’t keep my promise and lose consecutive games, so that’s what bothers me, but I think I’m okay now,” he said. “I felt that I didn’t even say I wanted to make a save,” he said. “I think I should throw it as a finishing pitcher. Rather than avoiding the game just because a batter is a good hitter, he should be ready to immediately start from the first batter as a closing pitcher. If a batter comes out with a three-point gap, there is no need to avoid hitting a solo home run. I’m paying attention to those things because I build up runners while making it difficult, but a bigger accident occurs.”
However, Park emphasized operational aspects. “There are definitely situations where you have to make things harder when you have to make things harder. You can’t get hit while entering a situation where you have to fill up the runners unconditionally. Now you are old, and if you don’t know those two things, you are not good at learning baseball,” Park said.
Park’s growth was largely attributed to coach Eom Jung-wook, who runs a baseball academy and baseball team. Park first became acquainted with the academy after being introduced to him by playing coach Jung Woo-ram in December 2020, when he was working as a social service worker, and worked hard to improve his skills every day after work. Notably, Park realized the power of his fastball.
“Honestly, I didn’t know the merits of my fastball, but as seniors including Coach Eom Jung-wook and Coach Yoon Hee-sang accepted the ball in person, I gained confidence in it,” Park said. “Before that, I had more confidence in other breaking balls than fastball. However, seniors who experienced it in the pro league told me that fastball is better. As a result, there were many cases where I overcame it with fastball last year as well. My speed has increased more than before I joined the military, and I think I got my mechanism that I used to do.”
Hanwha, which remained at the bottom of the league for three years from 2020 to 2022, finished the season in ninth place last year with 58 wins, six draws and 80 losses. The Hanwha Eagles, which embraces veteran infielder An Chi-hong, outfielder Kim Kang-min and catcher Lee Jae-won, are aiming to advance to the postseason this season. This year is also the last season that will take place at Hanwha Life Eagles Park ahead of the opening of a new stadium in Daejeon in 2025.
Park Sang-won, who experienced Hanwha’s last fall baseball in 2018, said, “I didn’t know what to do at the time, but I thought it was natural for the fans to fill the ballpark all the time. But when I was at the bottom of the list, it was definitely not. At that time, I thought I was really happy to play baseball,” adding, “As it is the last season at this ballpark, I want to finish it with good results. I think I will get good results if the older members help me and support me.”
Finally, he said, “I think every game was full in 2018. There were more Hanwha fans in the away seats as well. There are still players who felt that way, so I think we should go back to the postseason,” and added, “Professional baseball will become more fun when we do well.”