Yang Eui-ji (36, Doosan Bears) is known as a “fox wearing a bear mask (bear, mask, female).” It is an expression that symbolizes clever and brilliant ‘number fighting’ ability.
Eui-ji Yang is the number one catcher in the KBO League. He has won the Golden Glove for catcher 7 times in the last 10 years (2013-2022). He has already put his name on the list with Kim Dong-soo (current SBS sports commentator) as the most awarded winner of all time.
It is also suitable as a ‘championship contract’. He led the championship in the Korean Series (KS) as a member of Doosan in the 2015/2016 season and the NC Dinos in the 2020 season. In 2016 and 2020, he was selected as the KS Most Valuable Player (MVP). Yang Eui-ji was the first player ever to win the KS MVP twice as a catcher. Currently, Yang Eui-ji is the first player to come to mind as the ‘national team’s main catcher’. He has participated in six international competitions since 2009. This is the highest record for a catcher in the league during this period.
Legend Jin Gap-yong (currently head coach of KIA), who inherits the genealogy of Korean baseball catchers, said, “I often show matches that immobilize batters with catchy ball combinations, so I wonder if I hear the words bear, mask, and yeo. Yang Eui-ji is a catcher who properly uses the accumulated experience while digesting many innings.” His ability to make the pitcher comfortable is also the best.”
In the 2016 KS, Yang Eui-ji also led Doosan’s record for the least number of points lost (2 points) in KS history. In 2010, when he was the Doosan Command Tower, former NC coach Kim Gyeong-moon, who made Yang Eui-ji the main catcher, said of Yang Eui-ji, the “disciple” who blocked his team (NC) in the 2016 KS, “The pitcher league is the best catcher in the league.” Admitted.
After the 2022 season ended, Yang Eui-ji, who obtained the qualification as a free agent (FA) for the second time, is playing the 2023 season by returning to her parent team Doosan. Doosan, which was evaluated as a mid-level team, recorded the most consecutive wins (11 wins) last month. Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop often mentions the effect of Yang Eui-ji’s addition.
Regarding the high evaluation for himself, Yang Eui-ji spared his words, saying, “Since he is still playing as a player, it seems appropriate to receive it properly after retiring.” Regarding being recognized as a catcher who is good at using irregular ball combinations, he said, “It is basic to respond appropriately to the situation. He did that, but he seems to be getting a little more attention,” he said calmly.
When asked about the success rate of ball combination, Yang Eui-ji said, “I think the probability that my autograph will be the intended result is about 60%, on the premise that ‘the pitcher’s ball has been controlled’.”
A lower-than-expected self-evaluation. Regarding this, Yang Eui-ji said, “It doesn’t mean ‘I am confident that I will be hit 6 times out of 10’. Even if you sign a pitcher (type of pitch or location) with confidence, there are many times when you are wrong. After all, people play baseball. Sometimes he makes mistakes, and sometimes he works harder than he should. He often feels that there are many things that data cannot cover. That’s why it seems more important to always have a question mark and prepare for various situations than the ball mixture itself.”
Yang Eui-ji was given a tablet PC containing power analysis data while attending the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team schedule in February, and fell into a ‘study mindset’. Even after leading the pitcher to scoreless pitches, he often said, “I signed according to the data.”
Yang Eui-ji’s unique smart ball combination seemed to add a deep understanding of data and the ability to apply it in practice. Yang Eui-ji often takes an ‘anthropological’ approach. Regarding the reason why it is difficult to mix the ball, he mentioned the teamwork with the pitcher before analyzing the batter or the match result. He said, “If one side is not in sync, no matter how good the pitcher and catcher are, there can be dissonance.” . The pitcher and catcher need to understand each other first.”
When Yang Eui-ji asked about the know-how of checking the batter’s condition on the day, he smiled and said, “It seems that my inclination works positively” and said, “To be honest, I like to observe people. As the things I’ve seen other people’s attitudes and responses keep piling up, I have doubts when there’s a difference. Of course, there are many times when I am wrong, but I intentionally try to see (the batter or the game) a lot.
What is the most thrilling moment as a catcher? Yang Eui-ji said, “In a tense situation, I agree to a bold game with the pitcher in the game, and when that leads to good results, I think ‘I play baseball for this taste’. Basically (in my ball composition) it is always fun when others (batters) can’t hit.”
Yang Eui-ji is happy whenever data analysis materials increase and the match trend between batter and pitcher changes. He said, “Previously, the level (horizontal) swing was more emphasized, but now there are many hitters who want to increase the launch angle of the batted ball with an uppercut swing. If the swing trajectory changes like that, the pitcher has to think about where to throw and what kind of ball to throw. Team pitchers have to consider which ball is the best right now,” he said. “It is fun to just watch the ball mix. As if giving an admonition, there are times when I think in my heart, ‘I thought the battery was the same,’ ‘I was right, and that catcher was wrong.’” In fact, he does that when he becomes a designated hitter and guards the bench, or when he watches other team video materials.
Yang Eui-ji was also well-known as a catcher who led the growth of young pitchers. In particular, the last 4 seasons (2019-2022), which I spent after moving to NC, stood out. At the beginning of the transfer, there were also young pitchers who could not follow Yang Eui-ji’s unique ‘four-dimensional’ ball mixing lead. In fact, NC pitcher Shin Min-hyuk shook his head several times at Yang Eui-ui’s autograph before the Lotte Giants on August 13, 2020, his first start in his debut. 먹튀검증
Yang Eui-ji said, “It is the catcher’s job to create a process of building trust with the pitcher. Of course, even with a young pitcher, you may not agree.” He continued, “When I sign with the thought ‘I think I could hit a hit or a home run,’ the result always seems to be bad. So he tries to sign with confidence without being conscious of the consequences. He is the same as a pitcher. The most important thing is to throw the ball with confidence. He tends to talk about that more than the ball formulation.”
Yang Eui-ji often points his right hand toward his chest at a pitcher who hesitates at his sign, delivering an unspoken message of ‘believe’. He also meant that he was responsible for the outcome.
Yang Eui-ji said, “I’m not the type to nag young players about the past. Emphasizes the future that can be better than the past or present. I tend to talk about life as a baseball player that I can greet as a better player.” Yang Eui-ji, who is already in her mid-thirties, is feeling rewarded by seeing young catchers grow not only in their skills but also in terms of their personalities.