“Hey (he), why are you doing interviews (laughs)?”
This is a word that Doosan Bears head coach Kim Han-soo threw at shortstop Ahn Jae-seok (21) during an interview with reporters at the spring camp in Australia on the 8th. Ahn Jae-seok joined as the first charge in 2021 and raised expectations as Doosan’s main shortstop to succeed Kim Jae-ho (38), but he calmly failed to live up to those expectations until his second year as a pro. Last year, he ended the season early due to a wrist injury, so he had a batting average of 0.213 (50 hits in 235 at-bats) and an OPS of 0.575 in 99 games.
The aftermath of the wrist injury was quite long. Ahn Jae-seok was unable to wield a bat properly until last year’s finishing camp. To prevent a recurrence of the wrist injury, he put the bat down for a while and focused only on defense training. His full-scale batting training started at the Australian spring camp. It was natural for head coach Kim to ask a joking question, “Why are you doing an interview?”
Ahn Jae-seok laughed and replied, “I don’t know why I’m doing interviews,” to head coach Kim’s advice, then said, “I’ve always been a player with high expectations. I want to show you this year with a clenched fist.”
On the 15th, Ahn Jae-seok proved himself little by little by recording multi-hits in the match against Cheongbaek held at the Blacktown Baseball Stadium in Blacktown, Sydney, Australia. He started as the back team’s second batter shortstop and went 2-for-4 with 1 run and 1 stolen base. He hit in front of center field in the 3rd inning and hit in front of right field in the 7th to help the White team win 4-0.
It was meaningful because it was a performance he had not been able to wield to his heart’s content since the end of last season. During batting training in Australia, Ahn Jae-seok said, “Because I bat, I feel comfortable. I was a little worried about batting because I kept defending (until the final camp). They say it’s getting better.” 메이저사이트
Ahn Jae-seok, who is in his third year as a pro, is aiming to be the starting shortstop. This is also what veteran Kim Jae-ho asked his juniors to do. Kim Jae-ho said, “As a result, there is no starting shortstop. Someone needs to become the starting shortstop to stabilize the team. If the player who should be in the most important position keeps changing, the entire team will be shaken,” he said, hoping that the juniors who would succeed him would grow quickly.
Ahn Jae-seok said, “As the coach said, everyone is a challenger right now. We have to challenge (the starting shortstop). In our debut season, we just did it. I think my motivation was too advanced. The defense tries to make fewer mistakes and hit more aggressively. I’m aiming for more than 100 hits, and I want to get as many games or innings as possible.”