Correspondent Moon Dae-hyun = On the 17th (local time), the weather at Belbank Park in Mesa, Arizona, the Hanwha Eagles’ spring camp, dropped to sub-zero temperatures. It was overcast with no sunlight and strong winds made me think of thick padding.
However, the Hanwha players did not pay attention to this and silently practiced. With the determination to escape the stigma of being at the bottom for three consecutive years, everyone moved in unison.
Hanwha, who prepared for the season at Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona in early 2020, just before the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19) was confirmed, sought a better environment and moved to Bellbank Park.
Opened on January 7 of last year, this place has a total of 8 baseball and softball fields on a 130ha site. Of these, Hanwha writes three sides exclusively.
When I actually came, it seemed that the movement of the players was easy because the three sides of the stadium were close to each other. It was a convenient structure for the coaching staff to look around the training ground.
There were no facilities for ordinary people to use, such as shopping malls, so it felt like I was in Incheon Songdo LNG Sports Town.
But there was also a downside. All pitches were made of artificial turf, and there were concerns about foul balls because there was no upper net facility. The bullpen and batting training facilities also seemed a bit lacking.
An official from Hanwha explained, “There was an opinion that the artificial turf field and bullpen were somewhat inadequate as a spring camp site for professional clubs.” did.
Unlike the outdoor facilities, which had distinct advantages and disadvantages, the indoor facilities were perfect. The indoor weight room, which was built just over a year ago, is second to none in terms of scale and content.
In particular, the club rented cryotherapy equipment that relieves muscle fatigue in a short time by exposing the body to low temperatures of -80 degrees Celsius or lower to help the players adjust their physical condition.
In addition, in consultation with the stadium, a local catering company was called in to provide Korean food to the players every day, stimulating their appetite. Now, as players, all they have to do is concentrate on training.
The biggest topic of the Hanwha camp is ‘competition’. Coach Carlos Subero, who took over two years ago, has given many opportunities to young players under the keynote of rebuilding.
But this year is different. External free agents (FA) recruited outfielder Chae Eun-seong, pitcher Lee Tae-yang, and infielder Oh Seon-jin. Here, new players such as pitcher Kim Seo-hyun and infielder Moon Hyun-bin joined the team, and Brian O’Grady, a former big leaguer with excellent long-running power, joined the team. 스포츠토토
They naturally formed a fierce competition with existing players.
An official from Hanwha said, “Previously, the players did their best in training, but this time it feels different. As excellent players are recruited in key positions, the existing players are sweating more to keep up with the competition.”
Some of the players who were used as starting pitchers last season, such as Jeong Eun-won, Kim In-hwan, and Roh Si-hwan, turned the bat over and over again to check their condition.
No one can predict which player at Hanwha will become the starting pitcher this year. However, it seems clear that the winds of competition that have pervaded the squad are playing a positive role for the team. If the players raise their skills by exchanging stimuli with each other, we can expect better team performance than last year.
Coach Subero said, “Players who have experienced a lot of winning baseball (in other teams) have come to our team. Along with them, we can expect good synergy if the young players who have grown up in our team are well integrated.”