‘Bunt? I am Kang Min-ho (38, Samsung Lions).’
This is the line Kang Min-ho said in an advertisement for a baseball game about 10 years ago. He was a word that contained pride and pride as a central hitter with the words that implied how to give a bunt sign to himself, the central hitter of the team.
There was a ‘Bungeo River’ that was not visible even in kt wiz. Kang Baek-ho (24), who is called a genius hitter, is the main character. Kang Baek-ho has rarely tried to bunt as the team’s main hitter. 6 seasons career batting average 0.317 (707 hits in 2229 at-bats) 88 homers, slugging percentage 0.508. As his record suggests, he is a hitter who specializes in solving problems with direct hits rather than bunts. 먹튀검증
According to the baseball statistics site, Statties, Kang Baek-ho had attempted 48 bunts in his professional career before this day. He entered the plate 2560 times, which is 1.8% as a percentage. It’s not an easy scene to watch.
Kang Baek-ho tried a surprise bunt. At the end of the 4th inning, when the team was trailing 5-9, he came up as the lead batter and bunt on Lim Chan-kyu’s 4-seam fastball on the 2nd pitch. Kang Baek-ho saw through the defensive shift that puts the third baseman between 1st and 2nd base in preparation for himself, who is a left-handed hitter, and moved promptly. The LG defense, which could not predict the bunt, did not prepare enough, and Kang Baek-ho sprinted to first base. At that moment, the kt dugout heated up, and the fans generously applauded and praised Kang Baek-ho’s witty play.
This year, Kang Baek-ho prepared with more determination than ever before. The background is that he had his worst season after his debut last year. There were only 79 days when he missed the first team entry due to a series of injuries. His performance was also a record of 0.245 batting average (179 hits in 237 at-bats) and 16 home runs OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.683 in 62 games, a record that did not live up to his name. The annual salary was also cut by 47.3% from 550 million won last year to 290 million won. Kang Baek-ho’s pride could have been hurt.
After the opening game of the 2023 season (against Suwon LG on the 1st), Kang Baek-ho revealed in an interview with reporters that he was diligently trying to abandon his indolence for this year, which is different from last year.
Kang Baek-ho said, “I changed my schedule and lifestyle a lot. I also changed my wake-up time and bedtime. I was able to say that I worked hard on my preparation. I realized the importance of taking care of my body. I thought I was lazy. Let’s be diligent. I thought about it a lot,” he said. “The time to wake up is different for each game. The time to go to work has become 2 hours faster. There is a lot to do. They argue. If it starts at 10 o’clock, it’s 8 o’clock, so I always try to come 2 hours, 2 and a half hours before.”
Kang Baek-ho, who has changed, is continuing his big success. Starting with the selection of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team in 2023, the season entered the season faster than usual, and the position is also in the outfield rather than first base, but the season is playing well as planned without any major problems.
After the opening, the batting average of 2 games was 0.455 (5 hits in 11 bats), 1 home run, 4 RBIs, OPS 1.364. Although the sample is small, it is a figure that can raise expectations for Kang Baek-ho this season.
As he said himself, Kang Baek-ho has changed. And he tries to help the team somehow. If you need to get on base, even with a surprise bunt, go to first base. What kind of activity will Kang Baek-ho show in 2023? With the remaining 142 games, I am curious about what Kang Baek-ho will do this season.