“Each player has no end to greed. Even if the salary has risen for three consecutive years, you have to keep playing baseball. You have to be greedy, and you have to prepare hard even in the off-season to do well.”
Doosan Bears finishing pitcher Hong Kun-hee (31) visited Jamsil Baseball Stadium on the 6th and had personal training. Every winter, I go to the baseball field to train, but this year I am putting more effort into building my body. He is to exercise his rights to his satisfaction when he completes the 2023 season and earns his first free agency status in his career. He joined the KIA Tigers in 2011 and took time to establish himself in the first team, and he only met the qualifications 13 years after his debut.
Hong Kun-hee is walking on a solid road after transferring to Doosan in 2020. The salary increase curve tells the story. The last salary negotiated with KIA in 2020 was 53 million won, but at Doosan, it jumped significantly to 110 million won in 2021 and 250 million won in 2022. In 2021, he had a career high season with 6 wins in 65 games, 17 holds, 3 saves, 74⅓ innings, and an average ERA of 2.78, ranking first in the team’s bullpen high school.
Last year, he also played an active role as the main axis of the bullpen and took good care of the exam. After Kim Kang-ryul left due to injury, he played the entire season as a closer. He had 2 wins, 18 saves, 9 holds, 62 innings pitched, and an earned run average of 3.48 in 58 games. Among bullpen pitchers, he ranked second in his high school performance following Rookie of the Year King Cheol-Won Jeong. Of course, I became a target for an annual salary increase, and the annual salary breakthrough of 300 million won, which was like a dream number, was right in front of my eyes.
Hong Kun-hee said, “Last year, the team’s performance (9th place) was disappointing, but I am glad that I am doing well because I came to Doosan and the salary has been continuously increasing for three years. I couldn’t stand on the mound. I preferred to go out often and throw a lot because my strength was my strength, but for the position of finisher, I had to consider the long pitching interval. Another was that I was disappointed because I had many losses (9 losses). This year, I paid more attention to these points and focused more. I’m going to try to pass it well.”
It has not been decided whether he will serve as the closer in the new year. With new head coach Lee Seung-yeop appointed, all concrete plans were postponed until after the Australian spring camp. Cheol-Won Jeong is showing a willingness to challenge himself as a closer, so he is expected to compete with Gun-Hee Hong.
Hong Kun-hee said, “(Jeong) Cheol-won is a player who was verified last year. Although I was entrusted with the finishing pitcher until the end, I did not think it was a fixed position. “It doesn’t have to be in. It can be a good competition, and when Cheolwon is finished, I will congratulate him as a senior. Even if I take over the finish, I will not be vigilant. It will be good for the team if synergy effects are created through good competition.” Accepted positively.
At first, the pressure was greater, but now I’m more attached to the title ‘Closer’. Hong Gun-hee said, “I felt pressured as I suddenly became a closer. I adapted while doing so. I am a pitcher who goes out at the end of the game and protects the victory. It is a position where I feel pressure and pressure. I felt comfortable when I controlled it to continue to show my performance.” “The goal is to reduce the number of losses and lower the ERA compared to last year while playing the full-time season without pain in the new year,” he said.
As long as there is no change, there is a high possibility that Hong Kun-hee will serve as the pitching team leader this year as well. If confirmed, he will lead the pitching group for the third year from 2021, and both himself and his colleagues are highly satisfied.
Hong Gun-hee said, “It will be decided when I go to camp, but in the current atmosphere, I think I will be the leader (laughs). Since I was young, my goal was to become a senior who is comfortable with younger juniors, not a difficult senior. I think it’s good,” he said.
Since he took over as pitcher’s manager, he feels rewarded when he looks at ‘us’ instead of ‘me’. Hong Geon-hee said, “Because the manager has to see the whole team, he sees a lot of the atmosphere of the team and the entire pitcher. If you don’t take the role of manager, you can only think about the individual, but I think it’s best to try to read the atmosphere of the team. I want to include it unconditionally. I often say useless things (laughs). Seriously, there are many young players with no experience, so I think that pitchers’ performance improves only when each individual tries to do well. I hope that we can try to do well together.”
As his responsibilities both on and off the mound increase, he tries harder to live up to the expectations of the team. I believe that FA results will follow as much as I put in effort.
Hong Geon-hee said, “As a free agent, I have no choice but to worry as much as possible. I think I just need to prepare to not get injured in the same way. Even if I am not a free agent, I have the same desire to get a good evaluation. I want to,” he said vigorously.
Hong Gun-hee, who had a warm winter, did not forget to greet the Doosan fans in the New Year. He said, “I hope the fans have a happy new year too” and promised to continue to repay the fans’ support in the future.토토사이트