Can the home of the Hanwha Eagles change again?
Hanwha hired a new battery coach, Kim Jung-min, ahead of this season. Coach Kim made his debut with the LG Twins in 1993 and spent his entire playing career at LG until 2009. After his retirement, he also served as a battery coach only at LG.
However, ahead of this season, he left his beloved Jamsil and headed to Daejeon. Considering his debut as a player, this is the first transfer in 30 years.
Coach Kim Jung-min said, “I have been at LG for nearly 30 years. I learned a lot there and had various experiences.” I had doubts about whether it would happen,” he looked back. He said, “I was wondering if I could apply what I’ve done elsewhere or if there was anything more I could learn from Hanwha. I decided to go to the Eagles because I thought it would be a big turning point for me.”
At Hanwha, coach Kim’s mission is to strengthen the catcher. In Hanwha, catcher Choi Jae-hoon is in a solid position. He was sluggish last season, but after being traded to Hanwha in 2017, he has maintained his starting position. In the winter of 2021, when he showed a sense of stability in air defense, such as pioneering, blocking, pitcher lead, and stealing, he won a 5-year, 5.4 billion won contract.
The problem is Choi Jae-hoon’s 먹튀검증backup. Last year, Hanwha tried Park Sang-eon as a backup catcher, but did not get satisfactory results. Only when their skills improve, can Choi Jae-hoon’s playing time be managed,
At the spring camp in Arizona, USA, Coach Kim leads the players through strong training. Coach Kim never leaves a smile on his face, but Choi Jae-hoon, Park Sang-eon, Heo Gwan-hoe, and Lee Seong-won, who are participating in the training, are so exhausted that they lie on the ground every time they finish defense training.
Coach Kim Jung-min said, “Catcher is a really important position where a single mistake leads to a run. I’m trying hard,” he said. He added, “Catcher is a position where you have to communicate with all fielders as well as pitchers. As much as possible, smiling and approaching with nice words, it seems to be a part of everyday life and smiling well.”
Coach Kim said, “When I came to Hanwha, I felt that there was a big gap between the main player and the backup, as in any other club.” I can do it. My goal was also to develop young catchers.” He said, “Of course, it doesn’t happen in a short period of time. Catcher is a position where a single mistake not only leads to a run but also affects the balance of the team, so it takes a lot of time to develop. So while I was there, I transplanted what I had to young catchers. I want to guide him so that he can grow into a good player.”
The reason coach Kim Jung-min has hope is because of the way Carlos Subero appoints him. Coach Kim said, “Director Subero is a manager who provides a good environment for catchers to grow. A manager who clearly manages the innings between the starting and backup catchers.” I played 330 innings, and this motivates backup catchers, saying, ‘I have a chance of 300 innings.’ These points will definitely motivate our catchers.” He continued, “I want to put all my energy into growing good resources with potential in our team by making good use of those positive aspects.”