“Coach, I want to finish!”
Doosan closer Chung Chul-won, 24, won the Rookie of the Year Award at the 2022 ZOAH Pharmaceutical Baseball Grand Prize Ceremony on December 1 last year. “Coach, I want to close,” he shouted at Doosan’s new manager Lee Seung-yeop, who was also present at the ceremony, revealing his dream of becoming a closer.
About eight months later, the dream finally came true. Coach Lee Seung-yup said on the 15th, “Hong seemed to be under a lot of pressure when I saw him on the bench after Samsung Electronics. His failure rate in tight situations was a little higher, so I decided to go up to the seventh or eighth inning where he was comfortable. I decided to go up to the eighth and seventh innings, where I was comfortable.” The team switched from Hong to Chung as the closer.
“I’ve been preparing for the closer since last week, and the article came out on the 15th,” he said. “I wanted to be Doosan’s closer someday, but it feels good to be given the job as soon as possible. It’s the same whether I’m pitching in the middle or at the end and protecting the starting pitcher’s victory. My mindset is the same, and I’m not worried about it,” he said about realizing his closing dream.
“I played a lot of games as a starter in the second team, and I was also a starter in high school. It’s not that I didn’t want to start, but I like finishing better,” he says, “I can make a strong impression on the fans in the 10-15 minutes I have. I feel like a hero. The part where you have to prepare a lot to focus on 15 minutes is attractive.”
Chung is a right-handed fireballer who was drafted by Doosan with the 20th overall pick in the second round of the 2018 KBO Draft out of Ansan Gonggo. However, contrary to expectations, he realized the high barrier of the first team early in his career and fulfilled his military obligations by enlisting as an active artilleryman.
Chung saw his enlistment as a turning point in his career. He burst onto the first team scene like a comet on May 6 last year and quickly adapted, earning a spot as a set-up man. He earned the trust of former coach Kim Tae-hyung by boldly placing his 150-plus-kilometer fastball to the center no matter the situation, which led to the record for most holds in a debut season (23).
This earned Chung the once-in-a-lifetime Rookie of the Year honor. He also traveled to the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) wearing a Taeguk mark for the first time. 온라인바카라
He’s only in his second year, but his mindset is as good as the KBO’s top closers, including Oh Seung-hwan (Samsung) and Ko Woo-seok (LG). “Last year, Coach Bae Young-soo said to me, ‘Even if the batter is aiming for a fastball, your strength is your fastball, so you have to be the one who can win with your fastball,'” Jung said. “Recently, my fastball that went well outside became a home run against Hwang Jae-gyun (KT), and I want to try throwing it the same way because I wonder if it will go over again. I don’t think I threw it wrong and hit a home run,” he said, expressing confidence.
He added, “I don’t regret the home run. If I had to go back to that time, I wouldn’t throw a changeup.” “Even in the closer’s position, I trust my pitches,” he said.