“WAR, I hope it’s a little higher.”
Usually, when interviewing young players, pitchers have vague goals of entering the starting lineup or winning 10 games, and hitters with 300 or 20 home runs. However, a player who mentioned “War” as his personal goal has appeared, drawing attention. The main character is Byun Woo-hyuk (24), a big hitter of the Kia Tigers.
I talked with Byun Woo-hyuk at Narrabunda Ball Park in Canberra, Australia, on the 9th (Korea time). After graduating from Cheonan Bukil High School, he joined Hanwha Eagles with the first nomination in 2019, he joined KIA through trade from the 2023 season. Compared to his reputation and nomination order in high school, he has yet to burst his potential.
However, I felt that he had a good mindset and attitude toward baseball. A prospective baseball player with low years of experience would want to hit a home run, but that was wrong. Byun knows the meaning of step-by-step. And he has the idea that he should contribute to his team.
A player who is good at batting, defense, and base running can have a higher WAR level. Of course, a player with a higher WAR level can have a higher WAR level if he or she is good at certain parts, but generally, a player with a higher WAR level is considered a complete player. It literally means that the player contributes more to the team than the substitute player. It is how much more I contribute to the team than other players.
Byun started with an average of 0.232. He played in 83 games, the most since his debut, in the 2023 season. “I focused on this area since the closing training last year. My form and balance have improved. The most important thing is simplicity. I am preparing well to make it simple,” Byun said.
Many say that Byun has a pretty batting posture and form. Perhaps that’s why he also said, “I talked with coach Lee Bum-ho not to change the format in a big way.” However, he also found something to improve his average. He ultimately wanted to raise his average. “I want to raise it to 25 percent,” he said. He needs to overcome the 250 percent barrier to reach 27 to 80 percent.
This will increase the team’s contribution and increase its chances of playing. Byun’s main position was at third base, but with Kim Do-young’s presence, he needs to see the game at first base. Byun cannot avoid competition with Hwang Dae-in and Lee Woo-sung. “Everyone is always a competition. It’s good for the team if I’m good at it. I only care about what I have to do,” he said.
If you give the team some trust through Aberdeen, the next step is a sense of stability as a first baseman. We cannot leave out defense. The former coach evaluated Byun Woo-hyuk as quite stable, unlike his image that his defense is unstable. Although it is difficult to call the first-base defense the league’s top class, it is quite good.
Byun said, “I think my defense on the first base is stable. The more I play defense, the better I play. I felt comfortable during the season last year. I am confident.” By doing this, if you take care of your average and defense, your team’s contribution will increase, and you will be able to score a home run.
It’s simple to think of the logic that you need to have a certain average to get a long shot. Byun Woo-hyuk said, “I gained experience by playing in more than 80 games last year. It will definitely get better. You need to have an average to play a lot of games, and you need to play a lot of games to get a home run.”
The confidence that he presents in such a situation is reliable. “I lost my Achilles tendon last year because I was not feeling well, but I didn’t have any problems,” Byun said. SSG Roenis Elias (left-hander) is a bit picky, but he is strong against left-handed ones (batting average of 0.333 with three homers and 11 RBIs). It is important how I am in good condition. I think there is no ball that I can hit in the first team. I have a sense of goal.” 꽁머니사이트
According to statistics on baseball statistics websites, Byun’s WAR was -0.01 in 2019, 0.14 in 2022, and 0.45 in the 2023 season. He has yet to contribute one more win compared to other players. However, if he takes the step of making his big hit, his WAR can increase.