NC Dinos coach Kang In-kwon picked Park Seok-min (38) as the key player this season.
Coach Kang In-kwon said in a spring camp interview held at Reed Park Baseball Field in Tucson, Arizona, USA on the 5th (Korean time), “The first baseman is trying to give Oh Young-soo a lot of chances. Second baseman Park Min-woo and shortstop Kim Joo-won need to grow. In his last two years, the number of matches has increased and he has gained a lot of experience. He expects that he will perform better this year than in the past two years.” He talked about the idea of the infield this season.
What draws attention is the starting third baseman. Manager Kang In-kwon said, “The third baseman thinks of Park Seok-min first. This year, in the first two months and 52 games, I felt that if our performance dropped a bit, we would not be able to catch up. So, in April and May, I want to go to 52 games in the best condition. With Seo Ho-cheol and Do Tae-hoon as backups, I try to give Park Seok-min a lot of opportunities.”
Park Seok-min is a heavy hitter with a batting average of 2.88 li (1520 hits in 5275 at-bats), 268 home runs, 1033 RBIs, and an OPS of .899 in 1667 KBO league games. However, in July 2021, he was suspended for 122 games for violating the Corona 19 quarantine rules (KBO 72 games + NC 50 games) and only played 59 games. 4 P9 (7 hits in 47 at-bats), 2 RBIs, and an OPS of .489, which was sluggish.
Park Seok-min, whose annual salary this season was cut by 93% from 700 million won to 50 million won, is preparing for the season with great pride. Coach Kang In-kwon said, “It is true that something bad happened and last year, I was injured after coming up to the first team, so it is true that the sense of the game is a little off. However, there is no big concern because he has been consistently playing in the Futures League. You are right to be concerned about injuries. Here, he tries to improve his condition as much as possible and put it into the game in line with the demonstration game. Park Seok-min also seems to have prepared well for the winter, so I am looking at it more positively.”
The reason coach Kang In-kwon picked Park Seok-min as the starting third baseman is because of his long hitting power. Yang Eui-ji, who hit 103 homers in 4 years in NC, moved to Doosan. The weight of the other line is bound to drop. If Park Seok-min succeeds in rebounding, the vacuum of Yang Eui-ji can be minimized.
Director Kang In-kwon said, “Because I went through a difficult process, my will will be different.” “I prepared well. There is a part where our team needs Park Seok-min’s power to increase his long hitting power. If Park Seok-min plays a little bit in the batting, he will improve our team’s power more than expected,” he explained the reason for using Park Seok-min moderately. 스포츠토토
We need to see the spring camp and demonstration game results, but at this point, coach Kang In-kwon wants Park Seok-min to take over as the 6th third baseman. Director Kang In-kwon said, “Park Seok-min is thinking about number 5 or 6.” “I think number 6 is the right batting order. He thinks it’s going to be important to find a player who gets into number 5. If Son Ah-seop gets into the center lineup, he will come right out, but then number 2 is the problem. Park Min-woo also talked about his worries about the batting order, saying, “When Son Ah-seop is in second, he has to go on base so that there are more options for advancing base.”
If Park Seok-min takes his place as the team’s main player again, as coach Kang In-kwon expects, the NC team’s strength can be completely different. Will Park Seok-min, who is dreaming of a revival, show a different side of himself this season?