The ‘second Oh Seung-hwan’ (41-Samsung Lions) grew up in the KT Wiz.
Park Young-hyun (20) made a relief appearance against the Doosan Bears in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on April 4. He took the mound as the team’s fourth pitcher in the top of the seventh inning with the team leading 5-2.
In the top of the seventh, he used his four-seam fastball in the mid-to-high 140 kilometers per hour to cook the Doosan lineup. 스포츠토토 After striking out leadoff hitter Jose Rojas, he gave up a single to left to Kim Jae-ho. More strong pitches followed in the first inning. He struck out pinch-hitters Kim Min-hyuk and Lee Yoo-chan on swinging strikes to end the inning.
In the next inning, the top of the eighth, he showed off his strong stuff against the top 1-3 hitters. After getting Jung Soo-bin to fly out to shortstop, Ahn Jae-seok and Yang Yang-ji both flied out to center field. The final score was two innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts and no walks. It was his ninth hold of the season.
A day earlier (March 3), Park entered the game with runners on first and second in the top of the fifth inning with his team leading 8-3 and pitched 1⅔ innings of no-hit ball, striking out four and walking none to earn his first career win. For the second straight day (3 ⅔ scoreless innings total), the right-hander led the team to a three-game weekend sweep.
After the game, Park said, “I definitely feel more comfortable with the bases loaded. Yesterday (Game 3) was tight, so I think I was more comfortable today (Game 4).”
Park exuded confidence throughout the interview. He emphasized that he pitches well because he believes in his pitches. Throughout the series, he was true to his word, throwing powerful pitches to face the opposing leadoff hitters.
“I believe in my pitches and always try to throw with soul,” Park said, adding, “I try not to look at the batter. I try not to pay attention to them,” he said.
There is a horse that follows Young-hyun Park like an epithet. He is the next Oh Seung-hwan. Whenever Park faces Samsung, he always meets Oh Seung-hwan. He is the best closer in the league with 499 career saves in Korea and the United States, and Young-hyun is trying to follow in his footsteps.
“It’s good just to have that word (Seung-hwan Oh) in my vocabulary. It’s an idol. I used to watch him, but now I’m playing baseball with him in the pros. It gives me a lot of motivation. I think I’m in the experience phase now. I’m still in my second year, so my older brothers are telling me, ‘Don’t end it with today because there’s a lot to come,’ and I’m trying not to because there’s another tomorrow,” he explained.
“I once asked Seung-hwan Oh, ‘What do you think when you’re having a bad day,’ and he said, ‘If you’re having a bad day, the batter might be having a bad day. Throw with confidence,’ and that really helped me,” he said.
Finally, Park concluded the interview by revealing his goal as ambitious as the next Oh Seung-hwan. “My goal is 155 kilometers. I work out and play baseball for that goal, and I think that’s the top of my list. There’s no special meaning (to 155 kilometers). It’s a very high velocity, so I try to be able to throw it,” he laughed.
Since his rookie year, Park has been a fixture in the KT bullpen. Armed with confidence, he dreams of the day when he will surpass the second Oh Seung-hwan and become the first Park Young-hyun.