The advice of Park Byeong-ho (37, above KT Wiz), who is a “great senior,” to Moon Sang-cheol (32), a “perennial prospect”, draws attention.
KT has been sluggish this season. The win rate in the first 34 games was 0.303 (10 wins, 2 draws, 23 losses), which is the lowest in the KBO League. It is because of the power faltering as the number of pitching and other injuries including Joon Sohn (elbow) Minsu Kim (shoulder) Jeong Baejeongdae (back of the hand) Jaegyun Hwang (toe) continued. That’s not to say there’s no hope. Moon Sang-cheol is breathing life into the clogged lineup with his exciting swing.
Moon Sang-cheol’s modifier is ‘permanent prospect’. Born in 1991, he is a founding member of KT, who joined in 2014, and is in his 10th year as a pro. However, he did not have any first-team results to put forward until last year. He hit 123 cannons in his career, including hitting double-digit home runs for five consecutive years (2014-2018) in the Futures League (2nd team). In 2017, when he played for Sangmu Baseball Team, he hit 36 home runs and became the home run king. He is a self-proclaimed ‘2nd group Yeopo’, but when only the 1st group comes up, it becomes small. He hasn’t been classified as a major power this season either.
Moon Sang-cheol started the season in the 2nd division. Even when he was signed up for the first team of the season on April 12, he was briefly perceived as a backup filling the entry. Based on his first-team call-up, he had a poor second-team batting average of 0.083 (1 hit in 12 at-bats). However, it exceeded expectations. The performance shown in the 2nd group in 2017 is being reproduced in the 1st group. As of the 16th, batting average 0.347 (25 hits in 72 at-bats), 4 homers, 14 RBIs. The combined OPS of on-base percentage (0.380) and slugging percentage (0.583) reaches 0.963. The batting average of the 10 games played since the last 4 days is 0.359 (14 hits in 39 at-bats), which is the highest in the entire league during this period.
It is Park Byeong-ho who welcomes Moon Sang-cheol’s performance as much as KT coach Lee Kang-cheol. Park Byeong-ho, who has a bad left hamstring condition, vacated the first team entry for about two weeks from April 30th. He left the front line at a critical moment and felt very sorry for the team. It was Moon Sang-cheol who filled his vacancy. Park Byeong-ho said, “Isn’t it true that Moon Sang-cheol is an old prospect? It’s a really big opportunity for Moon Sang-cheol to play such an active role. He personally wants to do better.” In the game against the LG Twins in Jamsil on the 16th, Moon Sang-cheol and Park Byeong-ho jointly scored 3 hits (1 home run) and 3 RBIs. Thanks to the performance of the two players, KT turned the game from 0-4 to 12-7 and succeeded in escaping the losing streak.
Park Byung-ho once walked a path similar to Moon Sang-cheol. A self-proclaimed geopo prospect in Seongnam High School, he wore the LG uniform as the first nomination in 2005. However, he stayed as ‘unfinished standby’ and was traded to Nexen Heroes (Kiwoom Heroes) in July 2011. Although he did not receive much attention at the time of the transfer, he exploded his potential and won the KBO League home run king six times in his career until last year.
Park Byeong-ho said,안전놀이터 “I don’t think Sang-cheol Moon is good because of someone’s advice.” If you think about it or try to do better, you can lose (the pace). We talk about that a lot.”
Manager Lee Kang-cheol puts Park Byung-ho at No. 4 and Moon Sang-cheol at No. 5. Depending on what kind of appearance Park Byeong-ho shows in front, many opportunities can go to Moon Sang-cheol. Park Byeong-ho knows this better than anyone else. He said, “I think that Sang-cheol Moon’s sense of hitting will last a long time if he plays a little more evenly in front and back.”