“I’ve been letting go of the ‘when have I ever been good’ mentality a little bit, and it seems to be paying off. I really want to be on the postseason stage.”
Letting go has been the key to Oh’s recent hot streak.
Drafted by NC with the 19th overall pick in the 2018 second round, Oh is a right-handed hitter who can play first, third, and right field. His strength is his power, and while he only played in 14 games combined in 2018 and 2019, he made his presence felt in 83 games last year after returning from military service with the Commerce, hitting .238 (55-for-231) with six home runs and 31 RBIs.
Oh was expected to step up his game this year. However, he was not smiling until the middle of the season. In May, he was expunged from the first team roster due to inflammation in the back of his right knee. After improving his form in the Futures (second division) league, he returned to the first team in August, but was dropped back to the second division due to poor performance.
“Actually, it was hard to watch baseball at that time,” Oh said before the Changwon Samsung Lions game on Aug. 15, “not only my body but also my mind was hurting.” “But at some point, I accepted it. From then on, I became very motivated. Even if it takes longer, I thought a lot about preparing more thoroughly,” he said, reflecting on his difficult time.
They say trials make you stronger. Oh’s time in the second team helped him a lot. “I felt a lot of things in the Futures League. I tried to spend a lot of time alone,” he said, explaining, “There were a lot of good players, and I tried to learn how they train.”
“I tried to learn what I was lacking, thinking, ‘How does that player do that, how can I do that so well?’ I also talked a lot with (Park) Joo-chan, who is playing well now, and coach Cho Young-hoon. I also tried to improve my defense, which is my weakness,” he added.
The desperate Oh returned to the first team at the end of August, and he’s been swinging the bat like it’s going out of style. As of 16 games ago, his September batting average was a whopping .515. One of the keys to his success has been learning to let go.
“I lowered my expectations for myself. I was thinking, ‘I have to do this much, I have to do that much,’ so I was under a lot of pressure and stressed out about missing one or two at-bats. So I’ve been letting go a little bit, thinking, ‘Since when have I been good? I’m focusing on what I can do well. I’m focusing on what I can do well, and I think it’s paying off.”
“If there’s a staircase, I didn’t have a good start, but I couldn’t get to the 10th floor. You need the process, and I think I tried to reach it all at once. I realized that it’s more helpful to the team to do things that I can do well again,” he nodded.
Once he put his mind at ease and started pushing himself, good results started to come. “I didn’t realize I had good contact,” Oh said. Coach Song Ji-won also said, ‘You have good contact and hit the outside ball well, so let’s start with pushing,’ so I thought I’d try pushing in every situation, and it got better,” he said with a bright smile.
In particular, Oh has been hitting a streak of pure hits lately in crucial situations that can affect the outcome of a match.
When asked about his secret, he said, “There really isn’t one. I just put it down and lower my expectations of myself, and everything seems to help me. I’m just going into the batter’s box and going with the flow,” he smiled.
Oh’s performance has been a joy for the NC Futures team as well. He remembers (NC Futures manager) Gong Pil-sung, the coaches, the players, and the manager’s brothers. I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately saying that I’m doing well because I’m getting good results. I think it’s because they know what it’s like to be in the second team,” he said with gratitude.
One of Oh’s goals for the rest of the year is to finish the season injury-free, as he has had a tough time with injuries. “I want to finish without any major injuries,” he said. “The injury at the beginning of the season really took a toll on me personally this year. My biggest goal is to stay injury-free for the rest of the season.” 온라인카지노
Oh’s team, the third-ranked NC, currently has 65 wins, two draws, and 53 losses, trailing the second-ranked KT Wiz (67 wins, three draws, and 54 losses) by 0.5 games, and is aiming to enter the fall baseball for the first time in three years since 2020 (when they won the title).
“I really want to stand on the postseason stage once,” Oh said. “My older brothers who have experienced it said they get nervous as soon as they see the (postseason) flag. They said it feels like a weekend home game.” “I wonder what it’s like. I really want to stand on that stage,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.