Now, he is not a backup, but a main player for the national team. Park Kun-woo, who is ranked third in all-time batting average, is predicting a season with a further leap forward.
Park Kun-woo is a sophisticated hitter who ranks third in batting average (0.327) in the KBO league (over 3,000 at-bats). After being selected as the first adult national team player at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) as a substitute for Choo Shin-soo in 2017, he boarded the 2019 Premier 12 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but all of them served as a backup rather than a main axis.
Until the 2023 WBC, Park Kun-woo’s national team’s career performance was only 0.231 / 2 runs / 1 RBI. In particular, as the last 2017 WBC was only used as a major runner, he had to watch Korea’s first round elimination while only playing one game.
The start at the second WBC was similar. Park Kun-woo showed off his hot hitting feeling in every practice game during his training period, such as hitting 2 doubles and a home run in the evaluation match against SSG Landers Future Team before joining the national team. However, he was unable to start because of the Golden Glove outfield lineup consisting of Kim Hyun-soo, Lee Jeong-hu, and Na Seong-beom.토토사이트
However, in the official evaluation match against the Nippon Professional Baseball Orix Buffaloes and the Hanshin Tigers held before the tournament, Park Kun-woo showed a sense of passion throughout the match, hitting timely hits for two days in a row, and eventually took the starting position in the national team.
In the first round of the finals, Park Gun-woo’s performance was outstanding. In the first game against Australia, he hit the first hit to break the team’s no-hit, and in the second game against Japan, he hit a solo home run in the 6th inning, where the batting line was blocked by Imana Shota, 4-6. It is Park Kun-woo, who has been reborn as a perfect starter through a big success with a batting average of 0.375 (6 hits in 16 at-bats)/2 homers/6 RBIs/OPS of 1.225 in 4 games in the tournament.
However, it was a tournament that left Park Gun-woo with a lot of regret. Park Gun-woo, who we met after the China match, said, “You cheered me on a lot and many people came to visit me from afar, but it’s a pity. Because he had a good sense, he wanted to go to a higher place, but I feel sorry that it ended too early.”
Nevertheless, it is a competition in which Park Kun-woo has grown. Park Gun-woo said, “It was good to be able to play. I gained the confidence that I can hit even a hit in such a big tournament,” he said. But what if it’s personal?
That’s how much I felt the gap in ability with other teams, including Japan. Park Gun-woo said, “The other teams were really strong. I think the players felt a lot personally, and so did I,” he said.
Regarding the sluggishness caused by excessive tension raised by some, Park Kun-woo said, “It seems to be an excuse honestly because we are not alone in the burden. It is regrettable as a player to say that he could not do it because of the burden,” he said after firmly drawing the line, “I just felt that I could do better. With this opportunity, he felt that the way to repay the fans is for players appearing in the WBC or big tournaments to achieve better results.”
Park Gun-woo is 32 years old this year. It is still in its prime. This is why Park Kun-woo, who has taken a step further as a national team player, is more excited about his performance this year.