It’s the first trial of her 23-year-old baseball career. Jung Eun-won (23), the first Hanwha second baseman to win a Golden Glove, was sent down to the second team. It’s an all-too-familiar situation for Jeong, who hasn’t traveled to Seosan since his debut unless injured.
Hanwha dropped Jung from the first team roster ahead of the game against KT in Daejeon on April 18. After being left out of the starting lineup for four consecutive games, from the 13th against Doosan in Daejeon to the 17th against NC in Changwon, he only appeared as a substitute against NC on the 15th. He pinch-hit in the ninth inning with the score tied 3-3, but struck out swinging on a slider from left-hander Lim Jung-ho.
Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said of Jeong’s move to the second team before the game against KT on Aug. 18, “Eun-won was correcting his take-back motion. It wasn’t easy for her to play in the first team while correcting her form. In the batting department, we said, ‘It’s better to go down to the Futures and play with the modified form and come back up when it’s adjusted.’ The player herself said it was a good idea, so I decided to do it.”
Jung Eun-won herself was not in good enough shape to accept the second team. Choi Won-ho said, “I was worried, but the batting coaches and the players all agreed. She practiced with the changed form in the first team, but in the game, it was inevitable that she would be out of sync with the original form,” Choi said, explaining that the second team will work on the take-back and adapt it to the Futures League.
It was the first time since his 2018 debut that Jung Eun-won was sent to the second team for a non-injury reason. After making her debut on April 1, 2018, she was sent down to the second team on April 19, but she only played five games as a substitute as a rookie. She hasn’t been out of the first team since she re-enrolled on May 1 of that year, barring injury. The only time he missed a game was on August 14, 2020, when he was hit by a pitch from opposing pitcher David Buchanan in Daejeon, South Korea, and had to sit out to rehabilitate a chunk of bone in his left wrist.
He was incredibly good at baseball at such a young age. In 2018, when Jeong Geun-woo, the best second baseman in KBO history, was declining defensively due to an aging curve, Jeong burst onto the scene at second base for Hanwha. He became the first player since 2000 to hit a home run and quickly became known as the “Son of Hanwha” and took over as the full-time second baseman in 2019.
In 2021, he became the youngest player in history (21 years old) to have a 100-strikeout season (105). He also won the second baseman’s Golden Glove, making Hanwha proud. In 2013, Jung won the Golden Glove for second base with Hanwha after his free agency, but it was for his performance with his former team, SK (now SSG). As the first pure Hanwha second baseman to win a Golden Glove, he made club history. In the midst of a dark period with no end in sight, Hanwha fans took great comfort in him.
However, the upward graph has been broken since last year. His defense faltered with a career-high 17 errors last year, and his batting plummeted this year. In 95 games, Chung batted .228 (74-for-325) with two home runs, 23 RBIs, and a .619 OPS, all career lows in six seasons. I thought he would improve as the season went on, but he didn’t. With a weak batting lineup, there was no time to make adjustments.
Choi Won-ho said of Jung’s slump last week, “I’m sure he has a lot on his mind. At the beginning of the season, we had the Asian Games and we were ambitious, but it didn’t work out. Her defense is affected because she can’t hit. It was a combination of stress, physical fitness, and a lot of other things.” Not making the roster for the baseball team at the Hangzhou Asian Games may have taken a psychological toll as well.
With Jung Eun-won unable to rebound, Hanwha’s second base position became competitive. Rookie Moon Hyun-bin, who had been playing center field, has been playing second base since last week. “If it’s not irreplaceable, it’s a competition,” Choi Won-ho declared. Jeong Eun-won also has to compete for a spot in the starting lineup. There hasn’t been anyone to threaten him, and his performance has stagnated in the last two years.
Just when he needed a boost, a competitor for the same position, Moon Hyun-bin, came along. The 19-year-old rookie is no ordinary bet. For Jeong Eun-won, it’s his first taste of baseball, but he’s still only 23 years old. A good-natured rivalry with Moon could be a chance for Jeong to develop into a bigger player. 안전카지노사이트