“I’m going to give you a chance this year.”
SSG Landers also has a ‘big prospect’ catcher. This is Cho Hyeong-woo (21), who entered the 2021 rookie draft with the 8th overall pick in the 2nd 1st round. After graduating from Gwangju High School, he immediately received the top pick from SK Wyverns (now SSG) and has been a ‘backup catcher’ until now. Last season, from June onwards, he spent most of his time in the first team, but only made 9 appearances. He is still in training among senior catchers including Lee Jae-won, Kim Min-sik and Lee Heung-ryun.
However, he proudly put his name on the Korean Series entry last year. Lee Jae-won, Kim Min-sik, and Cho Hyung-woo were included. There was no opportunity to play as it was a very tight big game, but Cho Hyeong-woo had a lot of income just by being with the team winning the championship.
Of course, personally, I was very disappointed. The team is doing so well, so even though I spend a lot of time in the first team, I spend a lot more time on the bench. For young players, experience becomes skill, and that experience is lacking. So, at the recommendation of the club, I chose to go to Geelong Korea without hesitation. As soon as the Korean series ended, I boarded a plane and went to Australia, and spent more than two months in Australia.
Cho Hyeong-woo said,스포츠토토 “It was very helpful. I was a little tired after two and a half months, but I was still worried because there was no good place to train during the off-season, but I learned a lot from Australia. Australian players are better than I thought, and it’s a good opportunity I think it was.” He laughed.
Coach Won-hyung Kim intends to give Cho Hyung-woo another chance this year. There are veteran catchers, but SSG has to think about the future now. Among the promising catchers, Cho Hyeong-woo is the talent that coach Kim is most interested in. Not only the coach but also the coaches said, “Cho Hyeong-woo has good qualities.”
Manager Kim Won-hyung said, “He has a strong shoulder and good throwing ability. He still has weak framing and blocking skills, but that’s something that gets better as he gains experience. In particular, Cho Hyung-woo’s best strength is that he has a talent for hitting. He has good hardware and is good at bats. I’m looking forward to it. I plan to give more opportunities this year.”
Even if the manager sends them into the game, it is entirely up to the player how he seizes those chances. However, it seems certain that the best chance and environment were created. SSG desperately needs a young catcher. A lot depends on the speed of Cho Hyeong-woo’s growth.