Sung-bum Na

From BR Bullpen

Sung-bum Na

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 220 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Sung-bum Na has been an outfielder in the Korea Baseball Organization. His brother Seong-yong Na has played in the KBO.

Na was taken by the LG Twins in the 4th round of the 2008 KBO draft out of high school but did not sign. He pitched for the South Korean national team that won the Bronze Medal at the 2009 Asian Championship. He was with South Korea in the 2010 World University Championship and started the Bronze Medal game against Japan but allowed a two-run homer to Hayato Ito in the first and left after 1 2/3 IP (4 H, 3 R). He pitched in the 2011 Baseball World Cup, fanning 7 and allowing 4 runs (3 earned) in 6 innings in a no-decision against Andre Hughes and Germany. He relieved versus Italy (1/3 IP, BB), the Dominican national team (1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 R) and the Netherlands (1 R, 0 outs). He then started against Panama in the quarterfinals and lasted one inning (5 H, 2 R), giving up a Jose Macias homer; Chang-ho Lee relieved and South Korea rallied for a 5-4 win. Na's 6.48 ERA for the event was the team's second-highest (only Hyun-jun Lim was higher) but his 10 strikeouts were third (after Hyoun-taek Oh and Jong-hoon Park).

The NC Dinos took him in the second round of the 2012 KBO draft and he became a position player instead of a pitcher. He hit .303 in the Korean minors in 2012, leading the Southern League with 16 homers and 67 RBI and also stealing 29 bases in 33 tries. He clearly had made the transition from pitching. He was picked for South Korea in the 2012 Asian Championship but was removed from the roster due to injury. NC made its debut in the 2013 KBO as an expansion team and Na got a chance to play regularly, hitting .243/.319/.416 with 14 home runs and 12 steals in 14 tries. His first hit in the KBO was a home run. He tied for 7th in the league with 5 triples and was 9th with 15 times hit by pitch.

Na made huge strides in 2014 and had a six-run game on June 4 to set a KBO record. He hit .329/.400/.597 with 30 home runs, 88 runs and 101 RBI. He was 10th in the league in runs, 5th in hits (157), 7th in home runs, tied Seung-yeop Lee for 5th in RBI, was second with 128 strikeouts (14 behind Byung-ho Park), led in hit-by-pitch (again 15), ranked 6th in slugging (between Seok-min Park and Jung-kwon Park) and was 7th in OPS (between Seok-min Park and Ah-seop Son). He joined Son and Hyung-woo Choi as the KBO Gold Glove picks in the outfield; the Gold Glove in the KBO being an all-around award, not just defense like in the US or Japan. He was the first Dinos player to win a Gold Glove.

As South Korea's starting center fielder in the 2014 Asian Games, he hit .400/.478/.500 with 5 runs and 6 RBI in five games. He tied Toshiyuki Hayashi, Toshihiko Kuramoto and Akira Matsumoto for second in the event in RBI, one behind Jung-ho Kang. He also tied Muhammad Sumair Zawar and Khurram Raza Khan for 10th in average. In the Gold Medal game, he had the game-winning hit against Taiwan.

In 2015, Na hit .326/.373/.553 with 32 doubles, 28 home runs, 23 steals (only caught four times), 112 runs and 135 RBI. He was the 41st player in KBO annals to have a 20-20 season and the 17th to have 100 runs and 100 RBI in a year. He made the KBO leaderboard in average (9th, between Yong-taik Park and Hyun-soo Kim), runs (5th, between Yamaico Navarro and Min-woo Park), hits (184, 2nd, 4 behind Han-joon Yoo), doubles (tied for 8th with Jim Adduci Jr.), triples (5 again, tied for 6th), home runs (tied for 7th with Adduci, Hyun-soo Kim, Bum-ho Lee and Andrew Brown), total bases (312, 4th, between Navarro and Choi), RBI (4th, between Navarro and Choi), hit-by-pitch (15 for a third straight year, tied for 6th), whiffs (127, tied for 4th with Brown) and slugging (10th, between Adduci and Seok-min Park) while missing the top 10 in steals by one. In the playoffs, he even pitched a game as a pro for the first time (after being timed at 90.7 mph during practices), allowing one hit in 1/3 of an inning. He won another Gold Glove, joining Hyun-soo Kim and Yoo in the outfield.

He was with South Korea for the 2015 Premier 12 but was their #5 outfielder as Hyun-soo Kim started in left, Yong-kyu Lee in CF and Son and Byung-hun Min split right. He was 1 for 11 with a walk and a run, his lone hit coming off Venezuela's Josue Castellano. In the Gold Medal game, he pinch-hit for Eui-ji Yang and struck out against Casey Coleman in the 9th inning of a 8-0 win over Team USA.

He hit .309/.388/.497 with 37 doubles, 22 home runs, 116 runs, 113 RBI and 67 walks in the 2016 KBO. He was 4th in the league in runs, tied Brett Pill and Joo-chan Kim for 4th in doubles and tied Jae-gyun Hwang for 7th in RBI. The team fell to the Doosan Bears in the 2016 Korean Series. In 2017, he remained a star (.347/.415/.584, 42 2B, 24 HR, 103 R, 99 RBI, 17 SB). He was 4th in average (between Min-woo Park and Yong-taik Park), 6th in runs (between Ja-wook Koo and Wilin Rosario), led in doubles (two ahead of Kun-woo Park), was 5th in slugging (between Kun-woo Park and Xavier Scruggs), ranked 9th in OBP (between Sun-bin Kim and Rosario) and was 6th in OPS (between Kun-woo Park and Scruggs). He won his third Gold Glove, joining Hyung-woo Choi and Roger Bernadina in the outfield.

Na topped 100 runs for the 5th straight season in 2018, with 110; he batted .318/.381/.518 with 36 doubles, 23 homers, 91 RBI and 15 steals in 17 tries. He was 4th in runs and tied for 7th in two-baggers, but did not make as many top-10s as usual.

On December 10, 2020, he was posted by his team, the NC Dinos, to allow him to play in Major League Baseball. He had originally planned to do so after the 2019 season, but he suffered a season-ending knee injury that limited him to 23 games (though he hit .366/.443/.645 with 19 runs). He bounced back in 2020 to hit a career-high 34 homers in 130 games and leading his team to its first-ever Korean Series win, over the Doosan Bears (he had 4 hits in game 1 and 3 more in game 4; Eui-ji Yang took the Korean Series MVP). He also batted .324/.390/.596 with 37 doubles, 115 runs and 112 RBI. He was on the leaderboards for runs (2nd, one behind Mel Rojas Jr., the MVP), doubles (tied Hyung-woo Choi for 7th), homers (3rd, after Rojas and Roberto Ramos), RBI (7th), total bases (313, 2nd, 61 behind Rojas), slugging (3rd, behind Rojas and Eui-ji Yang) and OPS (4th, between Eui-ji Yang and Baek-ho Kang).