‘National Treasure SUN followed by Lee Seung-yeop as manager…’ Lucky fireballer, his expression changed after transfer

It may be a great fortune for a professional baseball player to have a Korean baseball legend as a manager. Following ‘National Treasure Pitcher’ Dong-Yeol Seon (60), ‘National Hitter’ Lee Seung-Yeop (47) is the lucky man to be the manager of his own team, and it is Doosan Bears’ fireballer Gun-Hee Hong (31).

Hong Kun-hee, who graduated from Hwasun Elementary School – Hwasun Middle School – Hwasun High School, joined the KIA 안전놀이터 Tigers in 2011 with the ninth overall ranking in the second round. After that, a big change came to him who seemed to be playing for KIA forever. He moved the team to Doosan through a trade in June 2020. Ryu Ji-hyeok, who played for Doosan at the time, went to KIA, and Hong Kun-hee came to Doosan.

Before coming to Doosan, he participated in 166 games for KIA, recording 9 wins, 20 losses, 5 saves and 5 holds, an ERA of 6.30. But what kind of stimulus did the trade act on him? A big turning point came in his baseball life. Of course, he has developed for the better.

In the 2021 season, which was’Doosan’s second year’, Hong Kun-hee had a career high season with an average ERA of 2.78 with 6 wins, 6 losses, 3 saves and 17 holds in 65 games. The good pace continued into last year. He played in 58 games in the 2022 season and was responsible for Doosan’s back door with an average ERA of 3.48 with 2 wins, 9 losses, 18 saves and 9 holds.

After his transfer, I heard that his expression changed because of his great performance. Hong Gun-hee said, “I heard that after coming to Doosan, things went well, and my personality improved and my expression became brighter. Personally, I don’t think much has changed…” and smiled awkwardly.

Originally, he boasted a good shoulder, but after coming to Doosan, his restraint increased even more. From 2015 to 2019, he never exceeded the average speed of 145 km (based on the stats below), but in 2020 he marked an average speed of 145.8 km with a fastball. He showed an average velocity of 148.1 km in 2021 and 148.0 km in 2022.

Hong Geon-hee said, “I don’t know why it increased. Nothing much has changed. Personally, I didn’t have confidence in the ball in the previous team. So, I focused more on the ball, but it seems that I couldn’t pull out the speed properly. To Doosan After he came, the coaching staff ordered, ‘Don’t pay attention to the ball, just hit it with force.’ It seems that following it exactly led to this result.”

He joined former coach Seon Dong-yeol in 2012 at the KIA Tigers and is now coached by Lee Seung-yeop. Gun-hee Hong said, “Coach Seon Dong-yeol was a pitcher and coach Lee Seung-yeop was a fielder, so I think the feeling is different.

He continued, “Coach Lee Seung-yeop appears on TV so many times that he feels like a celebrity. He says that to me as well as to the players. He has a lot to learn from the coach.” When coach Lee Seung-yeop was a player, the record against Hong Kun-hee was 3 hits in 10 at-bats. Hong Gun-hee smiled brightly, saying, “He is a legendary coach, so he thinks he did a good job.”

Hong Kun-hee is expected to compete as a closer with Jeong Cheol-won this season. He pledged, “The position of closer is not a position that anyone can take on. It is a decision to be made after the manager and coaches go to spring camp and look over everything. I think I am one of the candidates for a closer, and I will prepare well.” .

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