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NC Dinos find success under new captain Park

June 04,2019
The NC Dinos may have lost star player Na Sung-bum at the beginning of the season, but the team is still going strong with new captain Park Min-woo at the helm.

The 2019 KBO season may only be in its third month, but the Dinos have already gone through a lot with Na.

The Dinos had to start the season without Na as he was injured during a practice game. He quickly rejoined the entry and the Dinos benefited from the added strength to its batting lineup. It wasn’t long before Na ranked in the league’s top-five in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

But that didn’t last long. During a game against the Kia Tigers on May 3, Na injured his knee while sliding to third base. His injury was so bad that he had to end his season to undergo surgery.

When Na left the roster for good, Park was promoted to captain, becoming the youngest captain in the league.

But the young captain has already proven his worth both on and off the field. Looking at his statistics, Park has a .368 batting average and 12 RBIs in 41 games as of Monday.

Although the Dinos are far from taking the lead, as the SK Wyverns and the Doosan Bears are well ahead at the moment, they’ve been fiercely competing for the third spot in the standing.

In addition to Na’s absence, the Dinos have also been missing Mo Chang-min for more than a month due to a hamstring injury. Thanks to Park, the Dinos are still leading the league in team batting average, at .290.

Like many other Dinos players, Park started his season late due to a hamstring injury. He joined the team three weeks late, but since his first game against the Lotte Giants, on April 13, he’s made a direct impact to the Dinos’ batting lineup with multi-hits.

In 41 games Park played in this season, there have only been seven games where his bat stayed silent. Although Park has yet to hit a home run this season, his consistency has allowed him to be ranked second in the league’s batting average, just behind his teammate Yang Eui-ji, at .379.

“If Yang Eui-ji and Park Min-woo continue to play well, they’ll have a positive effect on our players,” said Dinos manager Lee Dong-woo.

Park also started stealing more bases in May. While he only stole one base in April, he’s stolen five bases in May and one in the two games in June.

“Up until last season, I tried not to [steal bases] as an aftereffect of an injury,” Park said. “But as [the KBO] changed the baseball, I’m trying to actively engage in stealing bases.”

BY KIM HYO-KYUNG [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]


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