“I wanted to hug you.” Attention is focusing on whether Park Young-wan (23), who boldly changed his direction from a promising outfielder to a pitcher, will become a successful pitcher conversion example for the Lotte Giants following Na Gyun-an (25).
Park Yeong-wan pitched in the bottom of the ninth inning with a 5-0 lead against Suwon KT Wiz on the 13th and finished his first team appearance safely with one scoreless inning. Lotte, which has a lot of available bullpen resources, canceled him from the first team entry on the 14th and allowed him to continue his pitching sense in the Futures (second team) team. Park Young-wan said, “As of yesterday (13th), I have a more specific and bigger goal.”
Park Young-wan was an outfield prospect who was nominated in the 2nd 5th round (48th overall) of the 2019 rookie draft. In his first year with the club, he revealed his potential with a batting average of 0.361 (13 hits in 36 at-bats) in 16 Futures토스카지노 League games, but decided to switch in 2020 according to the club’s will to grow as a pitcher. It was also praised that he was good at two-seam fastball and changeup with his stable pitch. After completing his military service, this season, he pitched in relief in 7 Futures League games, recording 1 win, 1 hold, and an earned run average (ERA) of 2.57.
Park Young-wan’s first appearance in the first team was an emotional moment not only for himself but also for everyone around him. He said, “After the game, (Na) Kyun-an hugged me tightly without saying a word. Didn’t his older brother also go through a difficult process after becoming a pitcher? It was as if he knew my heart. The moment my brother hugged me, that made me cry even more.” Na Gyun-an laughed, saying, “(Park) Young-wan is a junior in Changwon, so I always went to him, but seeing him throw well and come down from the mound, he silently wanted to hug me.”
It was a pitcher’s debut that showed many possibilities. The two-seam fastball, which stopped at an average speed of 140 km per hour, reached 146 km that day. Catcher Yoo Kang-nam, who accompanied Park Young-wan on his first appearance in the first team, said, “I was in a hurry (laughs). Shaking my head a few times, I said, ‘Okay, I’ll admit it. If so, do what you want to do,’ and he showed his skills. He is honestly a pitcher that I look forward to more in the future.”
This is the start. Park Young-wan said, “After he finished the mound, his parents contacted him. He cried a lot. When he said, ‘My son did all the hard work, can we accept congratulations?’, I was very moved.” My parents are the biggest reason why I have to be good at baseball,” he said.
To Park Young-wan, Lotte pitching coach Bae Young-soo joked, “It’s just the beginning, are you doing interviews already?” Right?” he encouraged. Lotte coach Larry Sutton also praised Park Young-wan, saying, “After turning from a fielder to a pitcher, he showed us a successful result.”