Bears skipper praises backup outfielder for pouncing on opportunity

SEOUL-- With one veteran dealing with a wonky knee and another sidelined with a hamstring injury, Doosan Bears' backup outfielder An Gweon-su finally has a window of opportunity toward regular playing time.

HIs manager Kim Tae-hyoung praised An on Tuesday for smashing through that opening with a scorching bat.

An, a Japanese-born speedster of Korean descent, was a 10th-round selection by the Bears at the 2019 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) draft. Over the past two years, An had been limited to pinch-running or pinch-hitting duties. He didn't make any start in 2020 and only had four starts last year.

But with left fielder Kim Jae-hwan playing through knee pains and right fielder Kim In-tae out for several weeks with hamstring issues, An started three of the past four games. And in those three starts, An batted a combined 8-for-10 with six RBIs. He has yet to strike out this year.

An, 29, enjoyed a career day Sunday, when he reached base five times, with three hits and two walks in five trips to the plate in a 9-0 win over the SSG Landers.

For the Bears' game against the LG Twins Tuesday evening, An got his first career start in the leadoff spot. He will play in the right field.

"An Gweon-su swung the bat really well in spring training," manager Kim said in his pregame media session at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. "He used to be mostly a pinch runner for us, but he has really seized this opportunity. I bet he thinks this is his chance to shine."

An, who had played at Waseda University and some independent ball in Japan, entered this season with 10 hits in each of the past two years and already has eight hits this season. And the hit count will certainly continue to rise, with Kim In-tae not expected back for at least a month.

"We'll re-evaluate him after two weeks," manager Kim said of his injured outfielder, who was taken off the active roster Monday. "We're looking at about four weeks (of absence for Kim)."

Kim In-tae himself had been in the midst of a banner year, leading the Bears with 12 runs scored and 15 walks, while posting a .315/.422/.370 line.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

Bears skipper praises backup outfielder for pouncing on opportunity

SEOUL-- With one veteran dealing with a wonky knee and another sidelined with a hamstring injury, Doosan Bears' backup outfielder An Gweon-su finally has a window of opportunity toward regular playing time.

HIs manager Kim Tae-hyoung praised An on Tuesday for smashing through that opening with a scorching bat.

An, a Japanese-born speedster of Korean descent, was a 10th-round selection by the Bears at the 2019 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) draft. Over the past two years, An had been limited to pinch-running or pinch-hitting duties. He didn't make any start in 2020 and only had four starts last year.

But with left fielder Kim Jae-hwan playing through knee pains and right fielder Kim In-tae out for several weeks with hamstring issues, An started three of the past four games. And in those three starts, An batted a combined 8-for-10 with six RBIs. He has yet to strike out this year.

An, 29, enjoyed a career day Sunday, when he reached base five times, with three hits and two walks in five trips to the plate in a 9-0 win over the SSG Landers.

For the Bears' game against the LG Twins Tuesday evening, An got his first career start in the leadoff spot. He will play in the right field.

"An Gweon-su swung the bat really well in spring training," manager Kim said in his pregame media session at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. "He used to be mostly a pinch runner for us, but he has really seized this opportunity. I bet he thinks this is his chance to shine."

An, who had played at Waseda University and some independent ball in Japan, entered this season with 10 hits in each of the past two years and already has eight hits this season. And the hit count will certainly continue to rise, with Kim In-tae not expected back for at least a month.

"We'll re-evaluate him after two weeks," manager Kim said of his injured outfielder, who was taken off the active roster Monday. "We're looking at about four weeks (of absence for Kim)."

Kim In-tae himself had been in the midst of a banner year, leading the Bears with 12 runs scored and 15 walks, while posting a .315/.422/.370 line.

Source: Yonhap News Agency