“I think he’s going to be a player like Lee Jung-hoo. He hits well, runs well, and hits the ball fast,” a sophomore at Daegu Sangwon High School said of senior Kang Tae-wan on Saturday in the hallway of Mokdong Baseball Stadium.
“As soon as he comes out, he just blows it away,” said scouts from 10 major league baseball teams gathered in the Mokdong Baseball Stadium press room, amazed by Kang’s first-pitch home run in his first at-bat. When he broke the streak with a fly to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning, the scouts were more than a little disappointed. It’s been a while since the attention has been focused on a hitter instead of a pitcher.
Daegu Sangwon High School’s Kang Tae-wan is attracting a lot of attention at the 78th Cheongnyonggi National High School Baseball Championship and Weekend League Wangjoongwang (co-hosted by Chosun Ilbo, Sports Chosun, and the Korea Baseball Softball Association).
Kang Tae-wan recorded a cycling hit in the first inning of the Cheongnyonggi against Milyang BC on Aug. 8 with a triple, a double, a walk, and then a three-run shot in his last at-bat. Kang Tae-wan’s 5-for-5 performance with five RBIs and four runs scored helped Daegu Sangwon Go to a 14-2 cold victory in the seventh inning.
In the second game of the doubleheader against K-POP Go at Mokdong Stadium on the 16th, Kang Tae-wan went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs to lead his team to a 9-1, seven-inning cold victory.
His bat was on fire from the first at-bat. In his first at-bat in the top of the second inning, when his team took a 2-0 lead, Kang Tae-wan, batting sixth and playing first base, pulled the first pitch he saw and smashed a 110-meter solo shot over the right field fence. He didn’t get a hit in the third inning, but added an RBI with a sacrifice fly to center field. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the score at 8-1, he added an RBI double to help his team complete the seventh-inning comeback. 토토사이트 순위
In the two games, Kang is 7-for-8 at the plate. He has one single, three doubles, one triple, and two home runs. Seung-kwan Kim, the head coach of Daegu Sangwon High School, said, “He is a sincere and hardworking player, but after his third year, the pressure put a lot of strain on his upper body. But as he improved a lot in that area, his long ball power also improved.”
In fact, if you watch his batting videos, you won’t see any signs of him forcing himself to go for the big one. His swing is smooth and light, comparable to that of a professional player.
At 1.86 meters and a left-handed bat, Kang is neither too big nor too small, and he’s flexible. He is a versatile player who can play first base, right field, and pitch. This year, he is batting .370 (33-for-87) with two home runs, 22 RBIs, 13 doubles, and a 1.003 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), showing that he has the ability to hit for power.
In the current Korean high school baseball system, where pitchers and hitters are separated, it’s hard for hitters to get noticed. That’s why Kang Tae-wan’s streak of home runs makes him stand out.