NC Dinos’ Park Gun-woo (33) had a strong image of being weak in fall baseball. His 2018 Korean Series (KS) batting average of just 0.042 (1-for-24) in six games with the Doosan Bears was crucial, and even excluding that, his postseason (PS) batting average was 0.206 (41-for-199) until last year.
But this year, in his first fall ball game in an NC uniform, it’s a different story. After going 1-for-10 (.100 batting average) in the Wild Card (WC) Decider in 2021, he went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs this year. After going just 7-for-29 (.241) in the semi-playoffs (Semi-Po), he went 13-for-6 (.462) with three RBIs this year. He led the team in batting average in the semi-po. He is literally ‘breaking the seal’.굿모닝토토
The next stage is the PO with KT Wiz, which starts on the 30th. In the previous PO stage, Park batted .278 (10 HR in 36 at-bats). This compares favorably to the WC Decider, Semi-Po, and KS (0.185-124 in 23 at-bats), but excluding 2017 (13-for-6), his PO performance was just 0.174 (4-for-23). He had no home runs and no RBIs. Having overcome the nightmare of the WC Decider and Semi-Po, Park Gun-woo must be confident that he can do the same in the PO stage.
He also had a good regular season with his PO opponent KT. He appeared in all 16 games, batting .339 (21-for-62) with one home run and 11 RBIs. He also effectively targeted KT starters Young-pyo Ko (13-for-8, 1 home run, 3 RBIs), Wes Benjamin (8-for-3, 2 RBIs), and Byeol-seong Lee (7-for-2, 1 RBI). In the short term, it’s more about mental and physical conditioning to handle the pressure, but you can’t completely rule out regular season data.
Park is a veteran now. The more he plays fall baseball, the more pressure he feels. In his time at Doosan, he had plenty of seniors to pick up the slack, but now he has to prove himself. That’s the role of a center fielder. Park is ready for that. “In the past, I would play dumb to my brothers even if I couldn’t do it, but now I’m not in that position. I have a lot more responsibility,” he said.