Dramatic joining after release, great reversal in 2 seasons, ‘AVG 0.345’ Who is Ko Jong-wook of KIA who burst into fierce form?

① Profile

Ko Jong-wook | Ko Jongwook. Born in Seoul in January 1989, he is 34 years old this year.

184cm 83kg physical owner and very fast feet.

When he was in high school, he thought about quitting baseball because he was not drafted, but he continued his career as a baseball player by going to Hanyang University.안전놀이터

He came to college and showed the appearance of a ‘hitting ghost’ with over 40% and a fast power to cut off from home plate to first base in 3.6 seconds. Eventually, he was nominated by Nexen Heroes for the 3rd round in 2011.

② In his

first year as a pro, he showed good performances from spring camp, and at that time, he was evaluated as having even skills in karatejuju.

Of course, he’s still pretty good in terms of attack and running.

In 11 seasons so far, his career batting average is over 30%, and he stole 31 bases in the 2019 season.

However, he hasn’t been good at stealing since the 20th season, which seems to be because he can’t play as a regular starter.

In terms of his defensive ability, he always had frequent mistakes and anxiety when defending, so even if his batting average was good, there was a lot of regret.

▲ Ko Jong-wook during his days as Nexen Heroes Photo: Yonhap News
③ In the first year of Nexen Heroes

debut, Ko Jong-wook recorded a batting average of 0.248, 1 home run, 9 RBIs and 7 stolen bases in 54 games.

I felt like I would have to do a little more, but following the advice of Nexen coach Kim Si-jin at the time, “It would be better to quickly enlist in the army and settle down,” I enlisted as a managing director after a year.

In the second half of 2013, he was discharged after a successful commercial career, but surgery and rehabilitation awaited him.

It was because he was suffering a habitual dislocation of his right shoulder, and in the aftermath of this, 2014 was forced to miss almost the entire season.

Ahead of the 2015 season, Ko Jong-wook was preparing in the 2nd division, but due to last season’s KBO MVP Seo Kun-chang’s injury, Ko Jong-wook finally had a chance.

▲ Ko Jong-wook during his days as Nexen Heroes Photo: Yonhap News
④ Heyday

In that year, he recorded a batting average of 30% for the first time in his career, a double-digit home run, and 22 stolen bases, establishing himself as the team’s table setter.

Since then, for three consecutive seasons, he has established himself as an indispensable part of the team by performing steadily, such as a 30% batting average, double-digit stolen bases, and a slugging rate exceeding the mid-40%.

2015 batting average 0.310 10 homers, 51 RBIs, 22 stolen bases
2016 batting average 0.334 8 homers, 72 RBIs, 28 stolen bases
2017 batting average 0.312 8 homers, 54 RBIs, 16 stolen bases

▲ Koh Jong-wook during SK Wyverns photo: Yonhap News
⑤ Trade

In December 2018, Ko Jong-wook, who is also the protagonist of the first triangle trade in KBO history, will move to the SK Wyverns, who wanted a quick left-handed outfielder.

The evaluation of SK fans at the time about the trade was not very good, but when I opened the lid, it was a part that showed a very sharp blow.

In addition, Kim Dong-yeop and Lee Ji-young, the opponents of the triangle trade, did not perform well in each team, so it was evaluated that the final winner of the trade was SK.

▲ Ko Jong-wook wearing a Usain Bolt uniform Photo: Yonhap News
Thanks to his performance after the trade, he was selected as an All-Star for the first time in his life, and he came out wearing a Usain Bolt uniform and made people laugh by realizing his nickname ‘Go Bolt’ himself.

In 2019, Ko Jong-wook will spend his second career high season.

(2019 results, batting average in 137 games, 0.323, 3 homers, 56 RBIs, 31 stolen bases, OPS 0.768)

⑥ Release and new start

The good feeling could not be carried on until the next season, and the team gradually went downhill, and the team changed from SK to SSG, and Shin-soo Choo was recruited from the major leagues. Due to the wind, Ko Jong-wook’s place was getting smaller and smaller.

That’s how he joined the current KIA after being released on a waiver announcement in October 2021.

However, KIA’s outfield depth was so thick that it was mainly a pinch hitter.

The prospects for this season were not very different, but the outfield was greatly shaken due to Na Seong-beom’s injury, and the team’s batting average was not good.

He got a chance or two as a pinch hitter, and then got into the starting lineup more often than not with good performances, including a walk-off.

As of May 10, he is showing a fierce form with a batting average of 0.345, slugging percentage of 0.418, and OPS of 0.797.

▲ KIA Tigers Koh Jong-wook Photo: Yonhap News
⑧ Closeout Ko Jong-

wook got his first FA opportunity after 13 years of debut, but gave up and renewed his contract for 1 year.

It is said that KIA reached out to him at the crossroads of his retirement, and he wanted to remain at KIA.

Go Jong-wook, who is even equipped with loyalty. We look forward to seeing him play more often this year.

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