Doosan Bears catcher Yoon Jun-ho has shed his “Monsters of the Most Powerful” tee. Now, more people are talking about Yoon Jun-ho of the Doosan Bears than Yoon Jun-ho of Cheong Wa Dae Baseball.
Yoon Jun-ho, who joined the team in the fifth round (49th overall) of the 2023 rookie draft, gained a lot of attention even before he joined the professional ranks when he became the starting catcher for the entertainment program “Cheong Wa Dae Baseball” last year. Coincidentally, Lee Seung-yeop, who was the manager of the Cheong Wa Dae Monsters at the time, was appointed as the manager of Doosan, further highlighting the connection.
Yoon Jun-ho was given the opportunity to shadow the senior catchers until the first team spring training in his rookie year. This opportunity was made possible by the call-up of main catcher Yang Yang-ji to the WBC team. After completing the first team spring training, Yoon played in an exhibition game, but was unable to make the opening day roster.
Junho Yoon started the season with the Futures team and has gradually increased his playing time. In 22 games in the Futures League, Yoon has a .364 batting average with 16 hits, one home run, eight RBI, two doubles, and a .417 slugging percentage. He has the best batting average among catchers in the Futures League.
Speaking to MK Sports ahead of his upcoming game against the Goyang Heroes in the Futures League on May 25, Yoon said, “I’m slowly preparing with the idea that I’m learning the basics again in the Future Team. I don’t think baseball is that much different than when I was in school, but I have to prepare for a game every day. For that reason, I think I need to prepare more thoroughly.”
Yoon has been hitting well in the Futures League since his first season. It’s even more encouraging because the player himself sees hitting as a weakness.
“My batting average has always been low, so I’ve been training and playing with the idea of learning how to hit from scratch. I often asked my hitting coaches for advice. Somehow, I got lucky and got some hits. I didn’t get a lot of starts, but I think I made every at-bat count, and it paid off. I still have a small number of at-bats, so it’s too early to judge.”
Of course, the defense is full of confidence. Jun-ho Yoon showed off his strong stolen base prevention results in the Futures League game on the 25th.
“I’ve always been confident in my defense. I try to make fewer mistakes and be more precise in my blocking. I will continue to train hard with Coach Battery every day to make my defense more perfect,” he said.
After going through first-team spring training and trials, but not making the opening roster, Yoon was preparing himself for a first-team debut that could come out of nowhere.
“I watch the first-team games from time to time and think about when I can be on that stage. Sometimes I look at the players who have made it to the first team and imagine what I would do. I get nervous whenever I imagine wearing a force mask at Jamsil Stadium (laughs). I feel like I only got a taste of the first team in spring training and exhibition games. If I thought I could be in the first team from the beginning, I think it would be pride and arrogance. I want to build up my skills well step by step and seize the opportunity when I am recognized.”
Doosan called up Ahn Seung-han to the first team on the 25th to form the first ‘three-catcher system’ of the season alongside Yang Ji and Jang Seung-hyun. Now, without Ahn Seung-han, who was the first catcher call-up for the Future Team, Yoon Jun-ho will get more starts in the Futures League 메이저놀이터.
“With (Ahn) Seung-han’s brother moving up to the first team, I think my starting role in Futures League games will increase a little bit more, and I’ll try to prepare well for the September expansion roster, because I don’t know when the opportunity will suddenly come. I’m also looking forward to learning from Yang-ji and watching him from the sidelines,” he smiled.
In closing, Yoon Jun-ho said, “I’m grateful to the fans who have shown me steady interest and support over the years, starting with the Monsters last year and now the Doosan Bears. I will continue to work hard to prepare for the Future Team and hopefully make it to the first team someday. I hope you will continue to be curious about me and look forward to my future, and wait patiently until I reach the first team.”