“I don’t go and talk first.”
Catcher Park Dong-won preparing for the 2023 season at LG. He is an offensive and defensive catcher with a long hitting power capable of hitting 20 homers, the best defense in the league, and the ability to keep runners in check at the same time. There is another potential to add here. It is communication.
Communication skills are very important to catchers. This is because he has to work with pitchers and infielders all year round and trade signs. Even the slightest shaken in a very basic part can lead to defeat. So spring camp is a place of communication for catchers.
It is also a case where Park Dong-won’s communication skills improved as he gained experience. He said that what’s special about him is that he doesn’t approach the pitchers first. A catcher who is good at communication won’t come? At first glance, it seems strange, but after hearing his story at the San Francisco Giants Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona, during LG’s spring camp, I understood.
Park Dong-won said, “Now is not the time for me to go first and talk. Seriously, I can’t listen to that pitcher. I’m not 100% sure what I’m saying, but in that case, the player isn’t ready to listen. If I talk to the pitchers first, the pitchers may feel sad.”
The key to Park Dong-won’s story is that when a pitcher approaches you, you have to talk and listen at that timing to communicate with each other, and the pitcher is often ready to accept what you say. So Park Dong-won said, “Wait until you come.”
Park Dong-won fell into the study of LG pitchers in order to communicate properly when pitchers approached. “When the pitchers approach first, I tend to make it clear. If the answer is ambiguous, it will confuse each other. So, you have to study pitchers. That way you can listen well.”
However, Park Dong-won said that what he tells the pitchers is not 100% correct. He, too, is ready to listen and accept what pitchers and other teammates have to say. He said, “I am not telling you to do this or that. I’m just saying that it would be nice to do this.”
There was an LG pitcher who approached Park Dong-won first. Right-hander Lim Chan-gyu, who is competing to start this season. He did not qualify for the 2022-2023 free agent market, so his performance this season is a very important pitcher. Park Dong-won said, “Recently, Chan-gyu asked me something, so I told him something.”
Lim Chan-gyu had an average ERA of 5.04 with 6 wins and 11 losses in 23 games last year. After achieving 10 wins in the 2020 season, he failed to win 10 wins for the second consecutive year. The 31-year-old free agent retaker wanted to hear the opinions of catchers who had dealt with him outside Kiwoom and KIA.
Park Dong-won gave Lim Chan-gyu courage. “Changyu is a very good pitcher with vertical movement. He has such good things, so he told me it would work out.” The emphasis here is on data. Park Dong-won said, “It is difficult for players to accept if he talks with only what he can see. He has to tell the data accurately. So, I also carefully check things like the RPM of the two pitchers. He has to talk with the data so that the player can accept it.” 먹튀검증
It is an exaggeration to say that Park Dong-won’s communication method is a secret weapon that will lead LG to a presidential challenge. It is far more important for Park Dong-won to hit 20 home runs and for pitchers to throw well. However, if Park Dong-won’s communication skills penetrate LG, that in itself can become an opportunity for LG’s chemistry to become even stronger. These are so-called ‘intangible assets’. Other catchers may have communication skills like Park Dong-won, but this part is definitely impressive.
On the one hand, this kind of mindset of Park Dong-won is also the mindset that leaders should have. Park Dong-won said, “I also learned from past coaches, coaches, and seniors. I got to know them by talking and listening to them.”