The 2023 season is expected to be a meaningful year for Hanwha Eagles Joo Hyun-sang (31). It was a year where I was able to achieve my goals.
Joo Hyun-sang appeared in 44 games until the 23rd, recording 47⅔ innings, 1 win, 2 losses, 10 holds, and an ERA of 2.27.
At the end of the first half, Hanwha coach Choi Won-ho said, “Joo Hyun-sang performed better than expected. (Yoon) Dae-kyung got better when he was not good. The timing was right,” and selected him as a player who did better than expected in the first half of the season.
His performance continued in the second half. He appeared in 29 games, pitched 29⅓ innings, had 1 win, 1 loss, and 8 holds, and had an ERA of 2.15.
The one that stood out the most was September. In particular, it was an any-call for Hanwha’s bullpen, including two two-game series and one three-game series in early September. So he played 10 games and accumulated 6 holds. The average ERA was 1.80, rising day by day.
And he completed 10 holds, the first goal for a reliever.
Joo Hyun-sang, who graduated from Cheongju High School and Dong-A University and joined the team as an infielder in 2015, played 118 games in the first team until 2016. He had a career batting average of just 0.212 (47 hits in 222 at-bats). He received a passing grade for his defense as a third baseman, but his batting was disappointing.
He made a decision. After completing his military service, he became a pitcher in 2020. At the time, several coaches, including former pitching coach Jeong Min-tae and defense coach Chae Jong-guk, recommended Joo Hyun-sang to become a pitcher. Joo Hyeon-sang, who was anxious about his position as the infield was already full, made a decision after much thought. He came to the first team as a pitcher in 2021 and then played as a bullpen pitcher for two years. He recorded an ERA of 3.58 in 43 games and 50⅓ innings in 2021, and an ERA of 6.83 in 49 games and 55⅓ innings last year.안전놀이터
However, this year, his fourth year as a pitcher, did not start well. He faced the first team in the opening game, but on April 2, the second game, against Gocheok Kiwoom, he allowed a walk in the bottom of the 9th inning and became the losing pitcher. After being sent down to the 2nd team after allowing no runs in 1 inning against SSG on April 7, he was promoted to the 1st team in mid-May, but was excluded from the entry again after 3 appearances.
After returning on June 15 after an adjustment period in the Futures League, he pitched well. He rose in status to the role of Pilseungjo.
Joo Hyun-sang said, “I think pitching aggressively produced good results in the second half. Just because we pitched aggressively doesn’t mean all batters can hit. They can’t all be hits. Because we pitched that aggressively, the count fight went well. “I was able to throw the ball I was capable of comfortably,” he said, expressing his feelings about achieving 10 holds.
He pitched non-stop, including consecutive pitches and three-game pitches. He smiled brightly, saying, “I had a series of fights and three fights, but I accumulated points and the results were good, so I think I did it without any difficulties. I want to keep going again.”
As Joo Hyeon-sang finished the first half of the season, he set his goal of playing in 50 games this season. In fact, it wasn’t easy for him at that time when he looked at the pitch spacing. However, in the second half of the season, Joo Hyun-soo’s appearances on the mound became more frequent, and his 50 game appearances began to count down.
He said, “I feel proud of myself. In fact, I didn’t have any expectations this year. I did very poorly at the beginning of the season, but now I’m approaching 50 games. In the first half of the year, I thought I had an 80% chance of playing in 50 games, but now it’s 100%.” (Laughs). The first goal I set when I started pitching was 50 games and 10 holds. I think I’ve almost achieved it,” he said, expressing satisfaction.
We need to step up next season. Moreover, Kang Jae-min, one of the members of the winning team, left the team due to an elbow injury. Jaemin Kang is scheduled to enlist in the military after surgery.
For the next few years, Joo Phenomenon will have to take his place. Joo Hyun-sang said, “(Kang) I have to play Jaemin’s role well while Jaemin is away. Jaemin hasn’t been good since the beginning of last year, but he held back and threw hard. He’s a good pitcher, so I think he can have a better career if he stays healthy after returning from the military. “He had faith in his colleagues.
Joo Hyun-sang said, “If you are a bullpen pitcher, you must appear in more than 50 games. That is the number that will allow you to be recognized by the team and your value as a bullpen pitcher will be recognized. I have 10 holds, so I will try to get 20 or 25 next year. “I will prepare my body well so that I can hold this position until I retire,” he said of his future determination.