Kyung-hwan Cho

From BR Bullpen

Kyung-hwan Cho (조경환)

Biographical Information[edit]

Kyung-hwan Cho played for the South Korean national team in several major events, including the Olympics. He spent a decade in the Korea Baseball Organization, slugging .472. He homered almost every 20 at-bats (131 HR in 2,622 AB) in the KBO.

Amateur Career[edit]

Cho was a star in the 1994 Baseball World Cup, when the 21-year-old outfielder hit .382/.500/.794 with 4 homers, 15 runs and 8 walks in 10 games while manning center field. He tied Lourdes Gourriel Sr. for 5th in the Cup in home runs, trailing Orestes Kindelan, Omar Linares, Antonio Pacheco and Takayuki Takabayashi, 3 of whom were among the biggest amateur stars of the 20th century. Cho made the tournament All-Star outfield alongside Ermidelio Urrutia and Tomoaki Sato. Among those he beat out were Geoff Jenkins and Marcel Joost. Cho's solo shot off Lazaro Valle was South Korea's lone run in their Gold Medal game loss to the Cuban national team. Cho also played in the 1994 Asian Games.

Cho led the 1995 World Port Tournament in slugging (.581) and home runs (2). In the 1995 Asian Championship, Cho played for South Korea. During the 1995 Intercontinental Cup, he hit .190/.320/.476 with 2 homers and 7 runs in 8 games while playing error-free center field.

Cho's amateur career finished with the 1996 Olympics. He was 3 for 12 with a double and a walk, pinch-hitting 3 times and playing 3 games as a backup corner outfielder behind Byung-kyu Lee and Hyuk Kang.

Pro Career[edit]

Cho started his pro career with the 1998 Lotte Giants , hitting .231/~.318/.390. In 1999, he improved to .284/~.348/.526 with 19 home runs and 65 RBI in 342 AB. He remained strong in 2000, with a batting line of .264/~.350/.508 and 25 homers; one negative was 113 strikeouts.

In 2001, the 28-year-old slugger batted .303/~.381/.559 with 33 doubles, 26 home runs and 102 RBI in 120 games. He failed to win honors as one of the KBO's top 3 outfielders as former national team teammates Byung-kyu Lee and Jae-hak Shim joined Soo-keun Jung. He was 11 RBI behind league leader Tyrone Woods.

Cho moved to the SK Wyverns in 2002 and struggled in his new home, only hitting .214/~.281/.429 with 99 K's in 280 at-bats. In 2003, he bounced back, batting .285/~.377/.527 with 23 circuit clouts. He had reached double-digit homers in 5 of his first 6 seasons but would not do so again. Cho hit .239/~.341/.327 in 92 games in 2004, dropping to five home runs. Kyung-hwan was 7 for 34 with a walk and two home runs in '05.

Cho was picked up by the KIA Tigers in 2006, hitting .231/~.331/.388 in 54 games. In 2007, he batted .225/~.329/.403 in 64 contests.

In 897 games in the KBO, Cho hit .260/~.344/.472 with 444 RBI in 2,622 AB.