SSG Landers catcher Cho Hyung-woo (22) has erased his image as a backup player in 2024, and is ready to take a leap forward as a starting player. Two catcher resources have joined in the second draft, but he is committed to winning the competition.
“I’ve worked hard for a long time. I want to jump to the starting catcher this year and play more games than before,” said Cho at SSG Landers Field in Incheon recently.
Cho Hyung-woo was a player who led the heyday of Gwangju Jeil High School with his friend Lee Eui-ri (KIA Tigers), who was the same age in high school. With good defense and punch, Cho had high expectations as a promising player and joined SSG in 2021.
Cho, who went through training in the second division in his first year, gained experience by playing in nine games in the 2022 season. Notably, he was included in the Korean Series entry and shared the moment when his team won the title.
In the 2023 season, he had more opportunities to play in matches in accordance with then-coach Kim Won-hyung’s idea. In the process, he also had batteries with ace players including Kim Kwang-hyun and Kirk McCarty. Cho Hyung-woo also met expectations by banking on his stable defense.
On May 2, 2023, he also hit his first professional home run against KT Wiz ace Wes Benjamin at home.
However, his growth rate was not steep. He improved defensively by catching, throwing, and blocking, but failed to find a clue in the batter’s box.
Last year, Cho Hyung-woo’s performance was only 0.526 with a batting average of 0.185 two home runs and 12 RBIs (on-base plus slugging) in 62 games.
In order for Cho Hyung-woo to leap to the starting lineup this year, his offense must be supported.
“It’s a shame that I’ve never shown impressive performance even in a single game at bat. It’s a shame that I couldn’t show everything I had because I was in a hurry,” he said.
“I thought a lot about ‘how to hit’ from the closing camp. I also heard a lot of advice from Kim Kang-min,” he said. “I found a part that needs to be changed at the plate and I will continue to supplement it.”
There has been a big change in SSG’s catcher team this year. Lee Jae-won, who was previously left for Hanwha Eagles, and Kim Min-sik is still struggling in FA negotiations.
In the meantime, Park Dae-on and Shin Bum-soo joined through the second draft. In addition to them, veteran Lee Heung-ryeon will compete in good faith with Cho Hyung-woo.
Cho Hyung-woo’s position is not yet firm, but he has enough confidence from his experience.
“All the new seniors are more experienced than me and have to learn a lot. I’m a competitor, but I want to be close to them,” Cho said. “However, I have never thought that I would lose the competition. I am determined to win the main position.” 마카오카지노주소
“I want to be a catcher who plays in the most games in my team. I’m just doing weight training and skills training for now, but I’ll gradually increase the quantity to prepare for the new season,” he added.