The hidden card of the trade four years ago prepares for an emergency. Hanwha catcher Kim Hyeon-woo (23) is sweating hard with the goal of debuting in the first team in the new season. 

Kim Hyun-woo came to Hanwha from Lotte through a 2-2 trade in November 2019. At the time, Hanwha received Kim Hyeon-woo along with pitcher Si-hwan Jang on the condition of giving away catcher Ji Ji-wan and first baseman Kim Joo-hyun. The trade focus was on Jang Si-hwan and Ji Ji-wan. Even after 3 seasons. 

At the time of the trade, former Hanwha general manager Jeong Min-cheol said, “Kim Hyun-woo showed great performances until his sophomore year of high school. In his third year, he is a player whose indicators were poor, but the evaluation was good. He explained that he brought Kim Hyun-woo in order to secure future resources, saying, “He is 19 years old, and his infinite possibilities are attractive.” 

Kim Hyun-woo, who was from Yongma High School and was nominated by Lotte in the 68th overall in the 2nd 7th round in 2019, played only 13 games in the Futures League and was traded after a year. In the first year of his transfer to Hanwha in 2020, 메이저놀이터 he enlisted in the military after playing 38 games in the Futures League. After completing his military service as a full-time reserve, he played 21 games in the Futures League from July of last year, raising his sense of actual combat. 

Kim Hyun-woo said, “I went to the army quickly at a young age, and now only baseball is left.” This year, I really want to go up to the first team and show a good image. Few fans know me now, but I want to become a first-team player that everyone can know.” 

The memory of the trade, which was already four years ago, is vivid. “That was the time when the players were released. It was an atmosphere of being released when I went to the office after my name was called. The Lotte manager called me and said, ‘Aren’t you going home? Thank you so far,’ he said. However, it turned out that it was a trade with Hanwha,” he recalled.

Compared to the time of the trade, Hanwha’s catcher depth has become quite thick. While starting player Choi Jae-hoon was in good health, Park Sang-eon grew rapidly and took over as a backup for the first team. There is also Heo Gwan-hoe, who is growing in Futures, and there are many resources, including promising Heo In-seo, who joined the Sangmu after being selected in the 2nd round (11th place) last year. 

So Kim Hyun-woo is also working hard to catch up by training non-stop in the morning, afternoon and night. He intensively supplemented his throwing ability, and some coaches say that “the bat has improved.” Hyunwoo Kim said, “Competition is the same for any team. He appealed, saying, “I have to practice more because I am still inferior to other players.” 

Kim Hyun-woo took Na Kyun-an (Lotte), his two-year senior, as his role model during his high school days. Na Kyun-an, who was the catcher’s biggest catcher in his third year of high school, suffered extreme growing pains after his professional debut, but after turning to a pitcher in 2020, he is now the main player in the first team. Kim Hyeon-woo is dreaming of batting against his close senior in the first team. He said, “I keep in touch with Kyun-an hyung often. He takes care of me like a big brother. He said his older brother also had a hard time, but he is doing well now. Whenever his brother throws well, he calls me, but this year I want to contact him often. He hoped to stick with his older brother once in the first team.”