“It would be nice to score more runs.”

LG Twins outfielder Hong Chang-ki, 30, has regained his slugging touch this season, shaking off the slump he experienced last season. He batted .286 with 125 hits, one home run, and 51 RBIs in 118 games last season as injuries plagued him.

That’s not bad, but in 2021, he started every game in the league and hit .328 with 172 hits, four home runs, and 54 RBIs, winning the outfield Golden Glove. He also cut his walks from 109 to 59, and his slugging percentage dropped from .456 to .390.

Hong has come alive. In 93 of the team’s 94 games, he is batting .330 with 116 hits, 46 RBIs, 72 runs scored, and a .450 on-base percentage. He ranks first in walks and on-base percentage, second in runs scored, third in hits, and seventh in stolen bases.

When we met at Lions Park in Daegu on June 6, Hong said, “I think I feel the same as I did two years ago, but I feel better this year. It’s not the number of hits I’ve gotten, but the way I feel when I step up to the plate. I feel more confident.” “It’s not that my style has changed. I watched videos of when I was good and thought about why I was good then. It’s good to see results at the plate,” he laughed.

Last season’s slump, which was not a slump, made Hong even stronger.

“Last year, I was injured, I was off-balance, and I was impatient. I don’t think the 3.9 OPS was actually low, but my previous record was so good that I felt like I was being judged as a one-year flash in the pan, so I tried to work harder, and when it didn’t work out, I tried to find videos of when it did.”

As a result of trying, trying, trying, and sweating, he is now writing a record that is as good as 2021. At the rate he’s going, he’s on pace to break all of his personal records, including his 109 strikeouts from the 2021 season. He also has 28 doubles, one shy of his career high of 29.

However, he added, “The pioneering part of it is that as the game goes on, it grows. 109 strikeouts is ridiculous. I mean, you’re supposed to get one a game, but even looking at it now, it was ridiculous at the time. I don’t think it’s going to be easy this year,” he laughed, adding, “I don’t know why I hit so many doubles. I don’t hit them because I want to, but I think it’s because I’m hitting the ball harder than I did last year,” he smiled.

When asked, “What record would you most like to break,” he mentioned scoring runs. Currently the second highest run-scorer in the league, Hong finished the 2021 season with 103 runs, second only to Samsung Lions’ Koo Ja-uk (107).

He said, “I want to score more points. It’s good to go out, but it’s better for the team if you come in. If you score more points, you can win in 2021,” he laughed.

In conclusion, Hong said, “Last year, I lost a lot of matches because I wasn’t in good shape. I need to play a lot to help the team.” “There are still a lot of matches left. Even if we are in first place, there is no guarantee 안전놀이터. I will focus on one game at a time until the end.”