Cho Hyeong-woo (22), who joined SK (now SSG) in 2021 and is active as a backup catcher this year, is growing in the team’s expectations.
Cho Hyeong-woo only played 9 games in the first team last season, but he has already played 7 games this year. Three of those games were named in the starting lineup.
SSG coach Kim Won-hyung said ahead of the game against KT held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 3rd, “Now we are at the first team level to some extent.”
Manager Kim said, “In the case of young players, there are players who are ambitious and there are players who are worried inside, but anyway, the way they show on the ground is to some extent showing that they are playing like this.” It’s not going out, but I’m continuing to travel and learn while playing.”
Cho Hyeong-woo is a catcher who takes notes. Coach Kim has been emphasizing the characteristics of his teammates’ pitchers since spring camp. Manager Kim said, “Rather than analyzing the opponent’s hitter, you should know the information of the pitchers in spring camp. I asked him to take notes, and he said he did.”
This is because coach Kim, who was a pitcher, believes that breathing with the catcher is important. He said, “You must win the game, but the pitcher must throw well, but breathing cannot be said to be good.”
For this reason, coach Kim was grateful to local ace Kim Gwang-hyeon, who worked with Cho Hyung-woo during the demonstration game.
Manager Kim said, “I think I wanted to check how this player mixes the ball and how he catches the ball when playing with young catchers.” “It is not easy for a pitcher to ask for that. When I was young, I also asked ace pitchers on the bench. He said, ‘Anyone can do it’ from the pitcher’s point of view, but in his heart he had a catcher he wanted to do. But I was grateful that Gwanghyeon was able to match it that way.” 스포츠토토
The reason coach Kim pays attention to Cho Hyeong-woo is because he is a catcher with potential. Coach Kim said, “He has a strong shoulder. He believes blocking is also important. He thinks that framing is good enough, but depending on how well he blocks bouncing balls, a pitcher can throw boldly,” he praised.
The hitting has also received a passing grade from manager Kim. Perhaps thanks to this advantage, Cho Hyeong-woo was also listed in the preliminary entry for the Hangzhou Asian Games announced by the KBO on the 28th of last month. Among the 19 catchers included in the preliminary entry, the only player younger than Cho Hyung-woo is Kim Dong-heon (18, Kiwoom).
And Cho Hyeong-woo showed his presence by shooting his first home run in his 3-day game. At the end of the second inning, trailing by 0-3, KT starter Wes Benjamin’s 140km two-seam fastball passed the left fence at the end of the second inning. Although the team lost, Cho Hyeong-woo’s growth has made it possible to look forward to the future of the team’s catcher.