NC Kim Hyung-joon, who overcame bad luck and grew to the next level, said, “Do all the ‘soldiers’ last year… I want to do it from start to finish without getting injured.”

“I think I did my best last year. I want to continue from start to finish this year without any injuries.”

Despite various injuries, Kim Hyung-joon (NC Dinos), who took a step up last year, promised to continue to be healthy this season.

Kim Hyung-joon, who was born in Dongbong Elementary School, Segwang Middle School, and Sehak High School, is a right-handed catcher. He entered the professional league as NC’s No. 9 in the second round of the first round in 2018 and completed his military service through Sangmu in 2021-2022. He has a batting average of 0.229 (76 hits in 332 times at bat) with 11 homers and 35 RBIs (on-base plus slugging) of 0.657 in 185 games through the 2023 season.헤라카지노주소


Kim Hyung-joon, who received much attention early on for his long-range shots and outstanding lead in pitchers, also won the title overall in the 2020 season of NC Dinosaurs. However, Kim recently suffered terrible misfortune. He was put on the operating table due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in August 2022, just before being discharged from the military. He returned to the team in May last year after a long period of rehabilitation, but suffered ligament damage in his right ankle when he stepped on a ball during training at the end of the same month.

I met Kim Hyung-joon after NCs New Years Day party on Tuesday. “I was a bit blank. I didnt think of anything. I was in a state of mental breakdown," Kim said. "I didnt try to take care of myself. I thought I would get better as time passed. I tried to come back quickly, but I just decided to do as the flow goes. I thought I would get too much stress if I tried to do it quickly. I think I did it as time passed without much thought,” Kim recalled of the tough times.

Was it called Go Jin-gam-rae (苦盡甘來)? After enduring a difficult time, he had a good opportunity to represent Kim Hyung-joon. The Korea Baseball Organization’s reinforcement committee selected Kim Hyung-joon as a member of the national team for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, while he was striving for rehabilitation in June last year. As if to live up to his belief, Kim led his pitchers well as the main catcher in Hangzhou, contributing to Korea’s victory. During the Asian Games, NC struggled during the period, and an NC source I met after the Asian Games said, “It is regrettable that all the players including (left-hander) Kim Young-kyu and (infielder) Kim Ju-won were absent, but I had no idea that Kim Hyung-joon would be vacant this large.”

Kim Hyung-joon, who has grown to the next level through his experience in international competitions, also displayed his great presence in fall baseball. He started by making two hits, two homers, and four RBIs from five times at bat in the wild card game against Doosan Bears. In the subsequent semi-playoff against SSG Landers and the playoff against KT Wiz, he failed to show any significant performance at the plate, but led pitchers to good pitching with stable leads.

Since then, he has been wearing a catcher’s mask as the main home manager for the Korean national team in the 2023 Asian Baseball Championship (APBC). He played in all four games, and particularly in the preliminary match against Japan, he blocked all attempts to steal bases by Yuki Okabayashi and Kaito Kozono. Japanese coach Atsunori Inaba said that the Korean catcher’s handling and throwing were excellent.

Kim Hyung-joon is preparing for the upcoming 2024 season by steadily building up during the offseason. The most important part for him was not to get injured, as so many bad lucks held him back earlier.

“Last year, I couldn’t join the main league from the beginning due to rehabilitation. I want to continue from beginning to end without getting injured,” Kim said. “I want to continue from beginning to end without getting injured. I need to build such physical strength that I can handle for a year. If I do it consistently without getting sick, I think that my technical skills will improve on my own as the season passes. I wish I had a good record, but it’s the first thing not to get sick. It’s best not to get sick and not to leave.”

Then, Kim Hyung-joon said, “I think I did my best last year. I wonder if I can hurt myself as much as I did last year. Still, I think I need to take care of my body consistently so that I don’t get sick.”

During the off-season, Kim improved his physical condition at a center. Coincidentally, Yang Eui-ji, one of the best catchers in the Korean baseball, and infielder Yang Seok-hwan of Doosan also attend the center.

“I work out at the same time as Yang Eui-ji and Seok-hwan Yang at the same time in the morning at the center where I work out. Unintentionally, working out at the same center and at the same time makes me more motivated and work harder. It’s nice to talk to you a lot after the exercise,” Kim Hyung-joon said. “I heard from Yang Eui-ji how to take care of my body to play full time for a year. He also told me about my problems and things like that.”

Kim Hyung-joon will depart for Tucson, Arizona, the U.S. on the 30th to participate in NC’s N Team spring camp. It is the first time in four years that Kim Hyung-joon will participate in the U.S. spring camp since the last 2020 season.

“It would be a little awkward because it’s been a long time since I went there, but I think it’ll be similar since I’ve been there before. I heard the weather was bad last year, but I hope the weather is good this year,” he said. “I started exercising right away in December and completed treatment for the part that hurt. I think I made my body slowly, and now I have made a lot. I will make it so that I can go to the camp and do well without getting hurt.”

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