‘Emerging catching gem’ leads to KC signing, another big-time prospect grows up

“The most exciting thing is when a pitcher gets a strikeout.”

Gyeonggi Sangsang Sanggo was founded in 1963 and has been disbanded and re-founded repeatedly since. In 2019, it reopened its baseball team and hired head coach Choi Deok-hyun. A former catcher himself, Choi has been working hard from the scouting process to fostering players with the goal of making Gyeonggi Sangsang Sanggo a “catcher’s kingdom.

Last year, catching prospect Uhm Hyung-chan signed a contract with the Kansas City Royals of the Major League Baseball and crossed the Pacific Ocean. It is a valuable achievement in a short time, and a player who has the potential to grow into a large catcher is thriving. Enter sophomore Jiyoon Han. Han Ji-yoon is a sturdy catcher with a height of 188 centimeters and a weight of 93 kilograms.

“The Cheongryonggi tournament ended late due to rain, and the weekend league and the Presidential Baseball Tournament were held back-to-back, so I’ve been busy,” she told Sporting News before the team’s game against Incheon High School in the round of 16 of the 57th Presidential Baseball Tournament at Mokdong Baseball Stadium on July 7. “But I’m having fun playing baseball because I think I can do better than before, and I think I can do better in the future,” she laughed.

Catcher is one of the most demanding positions in the game. The equipment they wear alone weighs nearly three kilograms. They have to sit down and stand up throughout the game. Preparing for a game is also more complicated than other positions. You have to analyze the opposing batters and check the condition of your team”s pitchers. It”s not just about hitting and fielding.

That”s why she tries to use her time more efficiently. She also pays more attention to her physical fitness. “Nowadays, I don”t get much rest, so I can get injured. I’m very careful. The day before a game, I watch the opponent’s game a few times on the federation’s YouTube channel. I have to watch both pitchers and hitters. You have to keep thinking during the game. Catchers are really busy,” he said.

Han knew it was a tough position, but he enjoyed it. “I wasn’t a catcher at first, but my elementary school coach told me to try it. It was more fun than I thought. I was also good at it. So I kept playing catcher.” “At first, I didn’t even think about becoming a baseball player. I just had fun and told my parents that I wanted to play professionally. Thanks to their active support, I’ve grown to where I am today,” he said.안전놀이터

Han Ji-yoon, who has stood out since her days at Huimunjung, received offers from several prestigious baseball schools. However, she chose Gyeonggi Commercial University because it was a school that could help her grow. She was attracted to the school because it was already home to nationally renowned baseball player Uhm Hyung-chan, and was also persuaded by Coach Choi’s desire to make Gyeonggi Commercial School a catcher’s kingdom.

“Uhm Hyung-chan was already famous all over the country, and I wanted to play baseball with him,” Han Ji-yoon said. “Also, Coach Choi Deok-hyun was a catcher, so I chose Gyeonggi Sang Sang University. I loved the phrase ‘Catcher’s Kingdom’. Compared to other schools, catcher training is more organized. I thought I could learn a lot from Gyeonggi Sang Sang High School.

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