“I am in good shape. I keep improving my condition little by little.”
NC Park Min-woo has a career batting average of 0.320 and is 6th among all-time KBO league hitters who have played more than 3,000 at-bats. He boasts the most sophisticated batting among the league’s center infielders. However, Park Min-woo had a batting average of 0.267, 4 home runs, 38 RBIs, 61 points, 21 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.710 in 104 games in the 2022 season.
In 2021, he was one of the four people who violated the Corona 19 quarantine rules and had a drinking session. There was a long hiatus due to being disciplined. Throughout the season, he was unable to play his part due to his ups and downs. Still, NC gave Park Min-woo a 5+3 year 14 billion won free agent contract considering that he has high future value because he is 30 years old and that the average itself was not cut due to last year’s sluggish performance.
It is, in effect, a lifelong contract. Currently, the NC infield is full of uncertainty. First baseman Oh Young-soo, shortstop Kim Joo-won, and third baseman Park Seok-min have been roughly framed. However, Oh Young-soo and Kim Joo-won do not have full-time experience, and it is difficult to guarantee that Park Seok-min will recover his previous skills. So it could be difficult if Park Min-woo does not become a ‘constant’ in the infield.
So, for Park Min-woo, this Tucson, Arizona spring camp was meaningful. The preparation environment for the season was not perfect because the weather in Tucson was worse than in previous years, but it was good compared to the past 1-2 years. Although practice matches have been canceled several times, he is steadily improving his condition. Recently, in two consecutive practice matches against KT, he took the leadoff and hit number 3, each hitting one hit.
Park Min-woo recently said through the club, “I was in good shape, and I was constantly improving my condition little by little. He was worried as recent matches kept being canceled. Still, there is no big problem because he consulted with coaches and trainers and managed his condition well.” 안전놀이터
He said, “It’s a practice game during the camp, but I think it’s fortunate that we won. I saw that other players also improved their condition. I will prepare well for the rest of the period so that I can return to Korea and show a good image.”
If Park Min-woo showed his original skills last year, he deserved to be selected for the WBC. Two or three years ago, when he was hitting 30%, he was always mentioned when discussing the best second baseman. However, at the moment, the strongest second baseman in the league is Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom), and even Kim Hye-seong cannot go out as a starting pitcher in the WBC, being pushed by Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals). In a way, it is the point where Park Min-woo can start over from the challenger’s point of view.
As non-his free agent’s multi-year contracts are activated, long-term contracts of 5-6 years come out little by little in the KBO league. Even so, Park Min-woo’s contract for 5+3 years, a total of 8 years, is rare. He set up a safety device of +3 years for NC, but the prevailing prospect is that both sides will be together for 8 years. After five years, Park Min-woo will also enter his mid-30s. Anyway, it is a risky contract for NC, and it is 5 years to show value for Park Min-woo, and further 8 years.