One of Hanwha’s harvests last year was the growth of catcher Park Sang-eon (26). Young players competed as a backup catcher to support starting player Choi Jae-hoon, but Park Sang-eon stood out the most and took the ‘number two’ spot.
In 56 games with the first team last year, he recorded a batting average of 2.2, 4 ri, 30 hits, 4 homers and 17 RBIs. Although he had a low batting average, he showed slugging power with 4 home runs despite fewer at bats. On May 25, against Doosan in Daejeon, he hit his first home run with a grand total, and on July 7 against NC in Daejeon, he hit the final blow in the 8th inning, leaving an impact. Although there were 9 errors in his defense, his weakness, blocking, improved, and his ability to lead the pitcher was also recognized.
Hanwha coach Carlos Subero said of Park Sang-eon during the season last year, “I can see the appearance of a leader in personality. He has passion, and his efforts to improve have a positive effect on other players. When pitching in the bullpen, I know what kind of ball our pitcher is good at, so I think about it and study it until right before the game. He is a catcher who can bring out the pitcher’s abilities. If there is a catcher like this, the manager is perfect. He will be able to become a catcher who can go to the game every day,” he praised. Hanwha Futures coach Choi Won-ho also said, “Even during the camp, there were difficulties with throwing problems, but Futures battery coach Lee Hee-geun taught meticulously and practiced well. After his throwing improved, he went up to the first team, and he grew rapidly in a short period of time.”
Park Sang-eon said, “I wasn’t satisfied with my performance last season, but I gained confidence while playing. Based on that, I think I will be able to prepare well for the new season,” he said. “The preparation process for last season was the worst. I exercised a lot in the off-season, and I went to the spring camp for the first team, but I got corona and had to join the rehabilitation team in the middle.”
He continued, “After that, my shoulder and back were not good, so I was delayed in playing actual games. It was a tough time, but I got the hang of it quickly. It was helpful to have a lot of detailed discussions with coach Lee Hee-geun about game management and ball combinations. As he thought about the next hitter or situation, he learned a little about the situations to win and the situations to avoid. It’s not that I didn’t know, but as I became more confident, I understood better, and I felt fun.”
Park Sang-eon, who has been active in the Futures League since mid-April, took up the backup position after being called up to the first team in early May. He started 35 games and was in the first team for 145 days. He showed remarkable growth in offense and defense and breathed new energy into the team.
Park Sang-eon has a lot of charm as a catcher, but at one time there was talk of changing positions. Park Sang-eon, who came from Yushin High School and joined Hanwha with the 79th overall ranking in the 2nd round of the 8th round in 2016, had good batting skills, was tall (185cm) for a catcher, and had quick feet. To capitalize on his hitting advantage, he sometimes practiced as an outfielder in his early professional years.
However, Park Sang-eon did not give up his catcher position. He is very attached to the catcher’s mask, saying, “I had no intention of changing the position. His bat hit well and his feet were also evaluated because I was the catcher. He would have been mediocre if he went to another position,” he said, coldly judging his competitiveness.
Park Sang-eon, who spent two years after joining Sangmu and joined Sangmu, continued his career as a catcher. He developed his body and strength through weight training for 3 to 4 hours a day at Sangmu. His profile was 75 kg as a rookie, but now it is over 90 kg. After being discharged, he returned to the team in 2020 and after two more years of training, he began to see the light little by little in the first team.
Park Sang-eon, who returned from experiencing Australian professional baseball in Geelong Korea for two months after the season, said, “It was really nice to be able to play baseball in a warm place. He became close to most of the promising players of other teams, and he became a study by watching and learning various things. He showed his catcher instinct, saying, “My goal for the new year is to enter the opening entry first. I will make my body better so that I don’t get sick. If I go into the opening entry, then I think I will have another goal,” he said. 안전놀이터