Lotte Giants outfielder Hwang Seong-bin (26) is pouring sweat with his juniors from his alma mater, Sorae High School, in Jeju Island.
Soraego has been conducting winter training at Gangchanghak Park Baseball Field in Jeju Island since the 5th. Hwang Seong-bin, who arrived on Jeju Island two days earlier, is also training here. It is unusual for a professional player to train with his alma mater during the off-season.
Hwang Seong-bin said, “When I had to do individual training, coach Cho Hyun asked me first, ‘Where do you train?’. I decided that it was meaningful to train with my juniors in Jeju Island, the warmest place in Korea.”
Coach Johyeon Soraego said, “My position is a field coach. Rather than telling the players several times, it would be more efficient for Seongbin (professional player) to demonstrate in front of his juniors, so I asked him to join the training.”
Seongbin Hwang is the ‘hero of Soraego’. The Sorae High Baseball Club, located in Siheung, Gyeonggi-do, is a new team founded in October 2012, and only five players have been nominated by professional teams so far. In the 2022 season, four players were active in the first team, including Doosan Bears Choi Seung-yong and LG Twins Lee Ji-gang (above pitcher). Among them, Seongbin Hwang stood out by playing in 102 games, the most.
Hwang Seong-bin said, “I was a founding member of the Sorae High School baseball team. In 2013 (after graduating from Ansan Joongang Middle School), there was no high school to go to because of lack of skills. The Sorae High School baseball team opened the door and allowed me to continue playing baseball. So I am more grateful to the school. “he said.
This training is special for Hwang Seong-bin as well. He laughed, saying, “I came here for winter training during my senior year of high school. At that time, (my future) was anxious and uncertain.”
Seongbin Hwang gets the effect of killing two birds with one stone. He receives fungo from Coach Cho Hyeon for personal training, while naturally showing off his juniors in defense. He is generously passing on his know-how to juniors who are curious about this and that and are actively approaching him.
He acts as a motivator for the members of the Sorae High School baseball team. Coach Hyun Jo laughed, “Even if I gave the same instruction, he absorbed Seongbin’s advice better than my words. That’s why I was disappointed.” He added, “I am proud that Seongbin has become an example for the juniors.”
Seongbin Hwang said, “I have to exercise myself, but I want it to be a very meaningful and good stimulus for my juniors. I also went through a difficult time 7-8 years ago, so I try to give various advice.” Hwang Seong-bin plans to train in Jeju Island until the 17th and then return to Busan.
For Sungbin Hwang, 2022 was special. Joining the team after his discharge, he quickly became the main outfielder as soon as he debuted in the first team in May of last year. He had a .294 batting average, 64 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in 102 total games. The appearance of Hwang Seong-bin is one of Lotte’s biggest gains in 2022. He looked back, saying, “It’s unfortunate that I missed the 30% batting average, but after the batting average fell to 0.186 in August, it rebounded with a batting average of 0.354 in September. It was an opportunity to gain confidence ahead of the new season.”
Hwang Seong-bin’s strength is his hustle play, as if he were playing combat baseball. He said, “I don’t know how the year passed,” and promised, “I’ve never thought of myself as a starter. I’ll work harder to become a starter.” 토토