“Do it with no regrets.”
The Kiwoom Heroes, frankly, don’t count at all this season. Even with Lee Jung-hoo (26, San Francisco Giants) and Ahn Woo-jin (25, social service worker), they are the bottom of the 10 clubs. There are several other teams that could move up from last year’s bottom of the standings, including the Hanwha Eagles and Lotte Giants. There are concerns that Kiwoom could fall far behind the other nine teams early on.
Kiwoom’s one reliable corner is Hope and Bibil Hill. In fact, since Hong Won-ki took over in 2021, he has often and frequently switched between one and two teams during the season. It was a way to stimulate individuals and give hope to others, as not many players have stable positions.
Every year, there are new faces in the first team. The door is open for anyone. However, in recent years, not many players have been able to establish themselves as regular members of the first team. This is the reality of growing up, where you can’t just pick a starter and trust him for 100 games and not worry about him or the team.
Still, the team can’t stop searching for new faces. One of them is right-handed pitcher Park Yoon-seong, 20, who graduated from Gyeongnam High School and was drafted in the third round (26th overall) in 2023. Park is entering the professional world this year. Where and in what role is, of course, up to him.
On the 29th (KST), Park played his fourth exhibition game against the Zhongxin Brothers at CTBC Park in Pingtung, Taiwan. Park was the fourth pitcher and pitched one inning, striking out one and walking none. He threw just nine pitches. He was aggressive, throwing six strikes.
As it turns out, Park was already in camp in Taiwan as a motivational device. “This is my first overseas camp since I was an amateur, so it was a little difficult for me to fulfill the training schedule, but I’ve adapted and I’m enjoying the environment because I can focus on my training,” he told the club.
I’m getting a taste of the pros. Experiencing success is important. Park said, “I think today was better than my last game. I threw as hard as I could and paid attention to my pitches, and I’m happy that the result was good. Even if it’s a practice game, if the result is good, I think it gives me confidence and increases my expectations for the next game.”
In a five-game KBO League First Division game, if there is no draw, there will be five winners and five losers. An ordinary day for some is an extraordinary day for Park Yoon-seong. He said, “‘Do it without regrets’ is my life motto. I will do my best without regrets during the camp. My goal is to make the first team roster for the regular season, let alone the exhibition games. As a first-team player, any win, hold, or save is good, so I want to make a record-breaking performance.”
This year, Kiwoom should produce as many players like Park Yoon-sung who realize their dreams as possible. Such players will build up and build up, leading to a full-fledged powerhouse, and only then can we look forward to a bright future.