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Hyun-woo Hong

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Hyun-woo Hong (홍현우)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 182 lb.

Hyun-woo Hong was named the best third baseman in the Korea Baseball Organization three times. He was on four Korean Series champions.

Hong debuted in 1990 with the Haitai Tigers and hit only .169/.244/.247. He improved to .292/.367/.491 in 1991. At age 19 in 1992, he hit .333/.447/.529 with 17 homers and 87 RBI. He ranked among the KBO's leaders in average (3rd), OBP (2nd to Ki-tae Kim), slugging (6th), OPS (4th), runs (7th) and RBI (6th).

In 1993, Hong fell to .262/.355/.401, then remained steady at .272/.347/.428 in 1994. He returned to league-leader status in 1995 when he hit .305/.385/.465 with 34 steals in 39 tries, finishing among the KBO's top 10 in average (8th), OBP (7th), slugging (8th), OPS (6th) and steals (4th). For the first time, he won the KBO Gold Glove as the best overall third baseman, succeeding Dae-hwa Han.

Hong had his best overall campaign in 1996, batting .332/.453/.533. He was second in the league in average (behind Joon-hyuk Yang), led in OBP, was 4th in slugging, 3rd in OPS, third in runs (83) and third in doubles (30). He won another Gold Glove at the hot corner.

In '97, the veteran infielder faded to .271/.395/.489 with 22 home runs and 20 steals in 29 tries. He finished 7th in home runs and in OBP and took his last Gold Glove. During 1998, he hit .269/.381/.430. 1999 was another memorable season as Hyun-woo hit .300/.382/.563 with 34 home runs, 31 steals (in 37 tries), 111 RBI and 99 runs. He finished 4th in RBI (behind Seung-yeop Lee, Felix Jose and Hae-yong Ma), 6th in runs, 6th in stolen bases and 7th in home runs. He and Jay Davis became the 3rd and 4th 30-30 players in KBO history, following Jae-hong Park and Jong-beom Lee. Jong-tae Park won the Gold Glove at second, though, and Han-soo Kim at third.

From there, Hong's career plummeted. Still only 27, he hit .234/.374/.447 in 2000. Moving to the LG Twins, he failed to top the Mendoza Line in three of four seasons - .198/.310/.280, .118/.173/.206, .238/.332/.395 and .179/.229/.295. He wrapped up his career with the 2005 KIA Tigers, batting .220/.258/.322.

Overall, Hong hit .275/.375/.453 in 1,483 games in the KBO, with 188 home runs and 163 stolen bases.

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