"It's most thrilling when a pitcher strikes out."
Gyeonggi Commercial High School was founded in 1963 and has since been dismantled and re-established. In 2019, the baseball department opened again, and Choi Deok-hyun was appointed as manager. Director Choi, a former catcher, has been working hard from the scouting process to training with the goal of making Gyeonggi Commercial High School a 'catcher kingdom'.
Players who underwent systematic training stood out one by one, and last year, promising catcher Um Hyeong-chan crossed the Pacific after signing a contract with the Kansas City Royals of the Major League Baseball. This is a valuable achievement achieved in a short period of time. And a player who has the potential to grow as a large catcher is growing rapidly. Han Ji-yoon, a sophomore, is the main character. Han Ji-yoon is a catcher with a strong physique, standing 188cm tall and weighing 93kg.
Han Ji-yoon, who met with Sporty News ahead of the round of 16 match against Incheon High School at Mokdong Baseball Stadium on the 7th, said, "The Blue Dragon Tournament ended late and my eyes and nose were wide open because of the weekend league and presidential Cup."
The catcher is the most burdensome position. The catcher's equipment alone weighs nearly 3kg. I sat through the whole game Repeat the occurrence. The game preparation process is also complicated compared to other positions. You need to analyze the opposing batter and check the condition of the pitchers on the same team. It's not just hitting and protecting.
So Han Ji-yoon tries to use her time more efficiently. He also pays more attention to his physical strength. "You can get hurt because you don't rest much these days. She cares very much. The day before the game, I watch the other team's game several times on the association's YouTube channel. Both the pitcher and the batter have to watch. He has to keep thinking during the game. The catcher seems to be really busy," he said.
"I knew it was a difficult position, but the catcher was Han Ji-yoon, and it was so much fun," he said adding, "I wasn't a catcher at first." However, the elementary school coach told me to try to be a catcher. It was more fun than I thought. He also said he was good. "At first, I didn't even think about becoming a baseball player. I'm having fun and telling my parents that I want to be a full-fledged player. Thanks to your active support, I was able to grow as I am now," he said, looking back on the past
Han Ji-yoon, who has been prominent since Hwimun Middle School, received love calls from several prestigious baseball high schools, but Han Ji-yoon chose a commercial high school in Gyeonggi-do Province where he could grow up, and Choi's persuasion to make Gyeonggi Commercial High School a catcher's kingdom moved Han Ji-yoon.
Jiyoon Han said, “Senior Hyungchan Um was already famous nationwide. He had a strong desire to play baseball together. Also, coach Deok-Hyun Choi was a catcher, so I chose Gyeonggi Commercial High School. I really liked the word 'catcher kingdom'. Compared to other schools, catcher training is more systematic. Thinking he could learn a lot, he decided to go to Gyeonggi Commercial High School.”
Han Ji-yoon's choice of Gyeonggi Commercial High School was not wrong. Han Ji-yoon is attracting the attention of many scouts. Even as a sophomore, he was even voted a high school baseball All-Star. An official from a club scout said, “Han Ji-yoon is a resource that is considered the biggest catcher in next year’s draft. His hitting ability is really outstanding.” Director Choi also said, “I feel relaxed at bat. He looks like a pro player. His offensive power could be better. He is highly likely to grow into a large catcher,” predicting that Han Ji-yoon will become a better player.
Han Ji-yoon also expressed her intention to work hard to draw a brighter future. “My role model is Yadier Molina. In the KBO League, I want to be like senior LG Twins Park Dong-won. It's cool to see him spinning the bat coolly. He will do his best to become a good player in the future.”