What’s the difference between Kang Jung-ho, who has soaring stock prices? Will 44 home runs MVP be revived…”I’m glad I went back”

Doosan Bears slugger Kim Jae-hwan boarded a plane bound for the U.S. last month. He wanted to meet his senior Kang Jung-ho (37, retired), who is living his second life while taking batting lessons in the U.S. Kang had no choice but to take off his uniform after he was found to have driven under the influence three times, but his batting talent was so certain that he was dubbed the “devil’s talent.” After he conquered the KBO League as a member of the Nexen Heroes (currently the Kiwoom Heroes), he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the U.S. Major League from 2015 to 2019 and produced a total of 46 homers and 144 RBIs. Based on his know-how as a player, he advised players in need of batting improvement, and is enjoying his second heyday personally.

The word of mouth for Kang was largely attributable to NC Dinos’ Son A-seop (36). Son lost his pride as the best teaching hitter in Korea as he only posted a batting average of 0.277 (152 hits in 548 times at bat) in 2022, his first season as a free agent after moving to NC. While preparing for the last season, he received batting lessons from Kang, which was a huge success. Son ranked first in the league with a batting average of 0.339 (187 hits in 551 times at bat), securing his first career title as the batting champion in 17 years since his professional debut. Then, players began to line up to learn from Kang, who produced the batting champion. Son naturally stopped taking classes for two consecutive years, and this time his NC teammate Park Se-hyuk will also join him. Kim Jae-hwan has also joined the team, while Lotte Giants’ Han Dong-hee and Jung Hoon are receiving lessons from Kang, supported by retired Lee Dae-ho for their stay.

What makes Kang so different is increasing the number of players who want to give him a chance to take classes. “It is natural to analyze the batting video and point out the difference, but I heard that Kang has a different eye. I heard he points out really minute differences,” a source in the Korean baseball community said. “Players will inevitably suffer because he has created a clear success story called Son A-seop, but baseball officials say that the case is not something that can be overlooked as luck.

If Kim Jae-hwan recovers, the number of players who want to take classes from Kang will likely line up in earnest. Kim Jae-hwan was the first player in the KBO to have a batting average of .300-30 homers-100 RBIs and 100 runs scored for three consecutive years from 2016 to 2018. It was all the more surprising because it was a record for a player who uses Jamsil as his home ground. In 2018, he won the MVP of the regular season with a batting average of .334 (176 hits in 527 times at bat), 44 homers and 133 RBIs. Although he has declined since his peak, he has been a batter who can expect more than 20 homers and 80 RBIs. However, he suffered his worst season with 132 games of batting average, 0.220 (89 hits in 405 times at bat), 10 homers and 46 RBIs last year, properly reducing his self-esteem.

As soon as the season was over, Kim Jae-hwan raised the bat again without taking a break. It started with a one-on-one special hit with Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop at the wrap-up camp for nearly a month in November. Coach Lee first suggested Kim Jae-hwan to “try it with me,” and Kim was willing to accept the suggestion from the national batter. He hit about 500 pitches for two hours every day, and Kim Jae-hwan said, “I think I hit about 18,000 pitches in three weeks.” As soon as the wrap-up camp was over, he left for the U.S. and was instructed by Kang Jung-ho. He put in all his efforts for two months.

Reflecting on the past season, Kim Jae-hwan said, “When I entered the batter’s box in my bedroom, I thought a lot about where to hit. I felt like I couldn’t see the space. If I go to the outfield, I think I will be caught in front of the fence, and there are outfielders behind me. If I put it short, it will all get caught (on defensive shift), and I think I had a lot of bad thoughts.”

Kang Jung-ho pointed out the points that Kim Jae-hwan has been frustrated with. I can tell you whether it will work or not until the season, but I am sure I learned something. When asked about his income in class with Kang, Kim Jae-hwan said, “To talk about the six years until last year, the previous three years and the recent three bad years were different. I used to be like this, but I could feel this.”

“As (Kim) Jae-hwan sweated hard in the fall and went to Kang Jung-ho in December last year for lessons, I think he is in a desperate state. Kim Jae-hwan clearly feels his place in the team. I hope he finds the cause of his poor performance for a year or two through thorough preparation and becomes as solid as he used to be in the season. That way, the burden on Yang Eui-ji can be reduced,” he said, hoping that Kim Jae-hwan will pay off as much as he tried. 토토사이트 추천

The defensive shift restriction rule, which will be introduced from this year, is also expected to be of great help to Kim Jae-hwan. The opposing teams, which use shift well, allowed Kim Jae-hwan, an extremely pulling left-handed batter, to stand at bat, to completely empty the gap between three and second basemen and even third basemen and shortstop. What made Kim Jae-hwan even more embarrassed was the defensive shift. Now that the two infielders are placed on both sides based on the second base, they can ease the burden of “being able to catch a ball even if it hits well” compared to the past.

Regarding the restriction on defensive shifts, Kim Jae-hwan said, “It’s a good thing. People say I can push and hit, but it was one year for me to do so in my own way. Those who have played baseball will sympathize. If I try to make it in the opposite direction, my balance often becomes weird even if I get one hit. Then, I think it was even worse. I tried to hit it shorter, tried to hit it to the left, and felt that my strengths disappeared. I think it was a huge minus.”

“When I hit it well, (the fielder) didn’t move a single foot and I caught a lot of balls from the front. When I see that, I feel really frustrated,” he said, predicting that such frustration will be less severe this year.

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