“I was sluggish last season, but I cried when I saw the fans who cheered for me”
For Lotte Giants outfielder Hwang Sung-bin, the past season was a series of injuries and regrets. And this regret has been transformed into another learning and desperation for preparation for this season.
In an interview with MHN Sports on the evening of the 10th, Hwang said, “I was not good enough last season. Apart from injury, I don’t think I was good at it,” while looking back on last season, adding, “I am preparing for this season with the mindset of preparing from scratch again.”
Hwang started his career in the main league from the 2022 season. He played in 102 games receiving many opportunities to participate in the game, earning a batting average of 0.294 (940 hits in 320 times at bat) with 62 points and 10 steals (OPS + on-base plus slugging) of 0.707. Despite the fact that it was his first season since debut, he has displayed decent performance, and garnered attention as a new leadoff for Lotte ahead of the 2023 season, which has given him high expectations.
However, Hwang failed to continue his glory in the first year since his debut in the last season. He posted an OPS of 0.533 (36 hits in 170 at bats) with a batting average of 0.212 in 74 games, showing poor performance compared to the 2022 season.
It was largely due to injury in the early days of this season. In the match against the LG Twins in Sajik on April 11 last year, Hwang hit the ball of LG pitcher Park Myung-geun with two outs and a runner on third base, and made a two-run triple that fell deep inside the right foul line. However, he collided with LG catcher Park Dong-won during a rush to his home and fractured his finger, and was eventually removed from the first team.
At that time, Hwang Sung-bin’s batting average was 0.429, showing a good batting condition at the beginning of the season, so the injury was even more regrettable.
In the match against the Kiwoom Heroes in Sajik on April 28, when he returned after 10 days, he was diagnosed with a ruptured ankle while stealing a base, and faced two unfavorable factors in the early days of this season. This should be enough to blame the bad luck of the injury that occurred during the game. Nevertheless, Hwang Seong-bin seemed to blame himself, saying, “The problem was not my injury, but my ability.”
“It’s only my fault that I couldn’t show it after returning from injury. I won’t repeat it this season,” he said, shedding light on his desperation again.
It was a disappointing season, but there were still some parts to be satisfied with. “I invested a lot of time in defense practice last season. I’m glad that defense has improved as much as I tried,” Hwang said.
“The most memorable moment was when Lotte won nine consecutive games in the early part of the season. At that time, I thought that even if the opponent team’s pitcher was the ace, he would win no matter what,” he said, adding, “I felt that for the first time while playing baseball, and every moment was fun. However, I was very disappointed that I could not maintain a good ranking.”
Hwang’s off-season goal is to improve his batting ability. Currently, he has worked out with his alma mater Sorae High School on Jeju Island, spurring preparations for the early season. 마카오카지노주소
“I hit too hard last season. Actually, I started batting practice with batting coach Kim Joo-chan during the closing camp,” Hwang said. “In order for you to survive, you have to have a lot of pushy hits. I’m focusing on pushing practice.”
“In the 2022 season, aiming for the first pitch went in the direction that I wanted. However, after the injury last season, the hit did not go where I wanted to go. I will do my best to show good performance again this season,” Hwang added.