“I think my mindset of trying to do as much as I can has paid off.”

I wondered if he had grown through the long tunnel of injuries and sluggishness, and it was strange to see him talking calmly, looking slimmer than before due to weight loss. This is the story of KT’s signature hitter Kang Baek-ho (24). After returning from a nearly two-month absence due to physical and mental fatigue, Kang Baek-ho conveyed a new determination with a serious look.

After an injury-plagued season last year, in which he batted .245 with six home runs and 29 RBIs, he continued to struggle this year and was widely criticized for his on-field indiscipline. A confluence of factors eventually led to him being cut from the first team, but he’s been back in the lineup for the past five days and has been improving.

He’s not back to full strength yet. For the time being, he’s still playing as a pinch-hitter instead of a starter. However, his first hit after returning to the first team was a grand slam, signaling his resurgence. Kang came to bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning of the 9-5 win over SSG in Suwon on April 8, and launched a grand slam over the right field fence against SSG’s Park Jong-hoon. He proved his presence with a heavy blow to the fans.

After the game, Kang Baek-ho said, “I can’t say I did anything because my teammates were doing so well. I just went in there and tried to play as hard as I could, and I think that led to a good result. I went in with the mindset that I had to hit well, and I think they’re happy that I did,” he said with humility.스포츠토토

KT second baseman Kang Baek-ho celebrates after hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning of the 2023 baseball game between the KT Wiz and SSG Landers at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Monday.

Despite hitting fewer grand slams, his face was serious as he looked thin from weight loss. He said, “I didn’t intend to lose weight, but my appetite has dropped a lot. I’m doing the same amount of exercise, but I think I’ve lost a lot of weight because I’m eating less. I’ve lost about 10 kilograms,” he said, adding, “My weight has never been in double digits since I made my professional debut, but now it’s in double digits.” “I’ve only lost body fat, but I’ve kept my muscles, so I’m feeling light and good,” he added.

“I’m in the best shape and condition I’ve ever been in. While he’s ready to step into the starting lineup at any time, he admits that he doesn’t see a place for himself right now.

“I don’t know (about starting). I don’t know if I can play because the main players are doing so well. I think I’ll have to compete,” he said, adding, “I used to think I could do better if I went out, but when I look at the team now, I can only say, ‘It’s really great. We have a solid lineup and we have players who can step in and do a good job. I think we’re ranked where we are for a reason,” he said. “I think it’s a no-brainer. If I want to be in the starting lineup, I’ll have to compete until I’m good enough,” he added.

KT second baseman Kang Baek-ho celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning of the 2023 KBO Baseball Game between the KT Wiz and SSG Landers at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Monday.

He will compete in the Hangzhou Asian Games, which kick off later this month. “I’ve had a lot of time off, so I’m going to focus on my team’s game and prepare for the Asian Games. “If I show a good performance little by little like now, I will naturally be able to perform well at the Asian Games,” he said.

Finally, he thanked the fans for their patience. The moment Kang hit his grand slam, the Suwon stadium erupted with fans chanting his name. One fan was even seen in tears on the live broadcast.

“With so many people supporting me, I always feel like I go out on the field with good energy,” he said, “I’m always grateful to the fans and thankful for their patience. I am even more grateful for their support,” he said.

It will be interesting to see if the returning Kang Baek-ho will be able to show his old KT batting form for the rest of the season beyond the Asian Games.

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