Hanwha’s last postseason game was Game 4 of the 2018 semifinals. Hanwha’s starting pitcher was rookie left-hander Park Joo-hong (24). He was expected to be a one- or two-inning wind-up starter, but he made a strong impression against Nexen (now Kiwoom), not allowing a hit until the top of the fourth inning. Hanwha lost the game and the series ended 1-3, but Han Yong-duk, Hanwha’s head coach at the time, was hopeful that he had found a good player.먹튀검증
Park, who was drafted by Hanwha with the 14th overall pick in the 2018 second round out of Gwangju Jeil-Go, was recognized for his smooth delivery and mechanics. He showed promise as a left-handed bullpen arm in 2018 and started as a starter in 2019, but didn’t quite reach his potential. In 2020, after a stint with the Geelong Korea of the Australian Professional Baseball League, he didn’t improve much either.
He left the team briefly in July 2021 to enlist as a social service worker during the season. He was released in April after working for the Dong-gu Office in his hometown of Gwangju. In May, he changed his name to Park Sung-woong. It’s a combination of the surname Sung and the character for hero Ung, meaning “make a hero’s sound.
“My mother gave me the name because she wanted me to be good at baseball. She studied (phonetics). I thought about it for a month or two, but I decided that I could do better if I started with a new name.”
After rejoining the team following the demobilization, Park Sung-woong rehabbed for about a month due to a shoulder that had been bothering him for a while. “I’m still not perfect, but I’m getting a feel for it,” he said. “I missed baseball so much during my social service. I thought a lot about how to become good at baseball,” he recalled.
“Looking back, I tried to be too good, but I didn’t enjoy baseball. I need to enjoy it a little more and focus on what I can do well. When I face a batter, I don’t run away and actively put it in the strike zone, which is my strength. When I was a rookie, I didn’t know what I was doing, but as the year went on, year after year, I got greedy and tried to do better, so when it didn’t work out, I got very frustrated and hurt,” he recalled.
His time away from baseball helped him change his mindset and his body. Park went on a strict diet before the 2020 season, losing a whopping 18 kilograms, and added muscle mass with high-intensity weights. “My strength has improved, and I’m practicing to apply it to throwing the ball,” he said.
Compared to before he joined the team, the Hanwha mound has improved in both quantity and quality. Competition for the first-team roster is fierce, but the left-handed bullpen is somewhat thin, so Park has a chance to return. “There are so many good pitchers,” Park said. “This year, I’m focusing on perfecting my body, but I want to get to the first team as soon as possible and become a pitcher who can help the team. I’m trying to become a more mature and better player than I was before I joined the team, so I hope the fans will watch.”