Happiness was not in the order of nomination for the rookie draft. Rookie infielder Son Min-seok (19), who was nominated in the 3rd round of the KT Wiz, beat the 1st and 2nd rounders and was delighted to be on the opening entry for his debut season.
Son Min-seok left Gyeongnam High School and entered the pro with the 30th rank in the 3rd round of KT in the 2023 rookie draft. In fact, during the finishing camp, it was true that attention was focused on 1st round pitcher Kim Jeong-woon, 2nd round outfielder Jung Joon-young, and 7th round college graduate infielder Ryu Hyun-in, who gained recognition through the baseball entertainment program Strongest Baseball, rather than Son Min-seok. Son Min-seok is 177cm-70kg, and his body is dwarfed, so he did not receive much attention compared to his other peers.
However, Son Min-seok went to the Arizona 1st team spring camp in the United States and proved that small peppers are spicy. He quickly absorbed the advice of coaches and seniors and showed growth day by day, and in the WBC national team evaluation match, he was noticed by coach Lee Kang-cheol by wearing the ‘Daily Taegeuk mark’ and striking impressively. Following the trend, Son Min-seok showed a surprise performance with a batting average of 44% (8 hits in 18 bats), 5 RBIs and 4 points in 11 demonstration games.
Son Min-seok, who we met in Suwon on the 28th, said, “At first, there were a lot of things I lacked, but since the spring camp, I quickly learned the parts that the coaches taught me in detail, and now I seem to be getting good results. His upper body tended to lean forward in his at-bat, but as he swinged in place with his center of gravity behind, his hitting point improved. He gave a lot of good hits,” he said. 먹튀검증
Last February, the WBC national team’s ‘Daily Part-time Job’ was also a great help in adapting to the professional stage. Son Min-seok, who wore the Taegeuk mark on behalf of Kim Ha-seong and Tommy Edman, who were late to join the national team, said, “I was with seniors representing Korean baseball for a while, and there was a lot to learn. Each of the seniors had their own color, but I tried to find mine and learn from them. In particular, I was inspired by watching senior Kim Hye-sung hit hard.”
Son Min-seok’s main position as an amateur was shortstop. However, coach Lee designated him as the successor to Park Gyeong-soo and Oh Yoon-seok, and he played second base defense in most of the demonstration games. Son Min-seok said, “I saw second baseman once in my second year of high school. When I move from shortstop to second baseman, the distance from first base is close, so I feel psychologically comfortable.” “When I came to the pro, I saw that the seniors hit the ball fast, but the pitchers are also good, so there are a lot of missed hits. He felt that the first start was important.”
Defense is the biggest concern of rookie Son Min-seok and the key to his successful debut in the first team. “I think the most important thing is to keep the defense stable. And to do so requires constant practice. I don’t get much stress from batting,” he said.
Son Min-seok achieved his dream of boarding the opening entry for the 2023 season with Ryu Hyun-in, thanks to his great performance in air defense in the demonstration game. After the final match of the demonstration game on the 28th, coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “Both Min-seok Son and Hyun-in Ryu are doing well now. I’m taking him because he’s in good shape. Existing players such as Oh Yoon-seok are not in good condition, so we are trying to put the two players in the entry first.”
Son Min-seok said, “I want to play a lot, but I still lack a lot of experience. This year, I want to gain a lot of experience while watching many seniors from my team and other teams play baseball in the first team. I want to finish the season without getting hurt again,” he said, revealing his goal for his debut season.