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|LG Twins – No. 51|
July 15, 1980 |
Seoul, South Korea
|MLB: April 23, 2002, for the Atlanta Braves|
|KBO: April 11, 2007, for the LG Twins|
|Earned run average||5.17|
|Earned run average||3.61|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Revised Romanization||Bong Jung-geun|
Bong Jung-keun (Hangul: 봉중근; Korean pronunciation: [poŋ.dʑuŋ.ɡɯn]; born July 15, 1980) is a South Korean professional baseball player who has played in Major League Baseball with the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds and is now playing in South Korea for the LG Twins in the KBO League. He bats and throws left-handed.
Bong is often considered one of the greatest hitting pitchers in Korean high school baseball history. While attending Shinil High School in Seoul, he was a highly regarded five-tool player and control pitcher in the Korean High School baseball league, playing as the team's 3rd batter and No.1 starter.
In September 1996, as a freshman at Shinil High School, Bong was named the Best Pitcher in the 50th Golden Lion Flag National High School Baseball Championship, taking 4 of the team's 5 wins. As the team's leadoff hitter, he batted .353 with 6 hits in 17 at-bats.
In May 1997, Bong led his team to its national title at the 52nd Blue Dragon Flag National High School Baseball Championship, going 11-for-16 with 9 RBIs as a batter and racking up 3 wins as a starting pitcher. He won batting (.688), RBI and wins titles, and was unanimously named the tournament MVP.
In August 1997, Bong competed for the South Korea national junior baseball team in the World Junior Baseball Championship held in Moncton, Canada. In the round robin phase, he went 15-for-25 with 11 RBIs and 13 runs, and hit home runs in 4 consecutive games, playing in 5 preliminary games as a center fielder and relief pitcher. South Korea was eliminated by USA 7–0 in the quarterfinals, but Bong additionally accumulated 3 hits and 3 RBIs in the 5th–8th classification games. He finished the tournament with a .500 batting average (18-for-36), 14 RBIs and 4 home runs, and was named the tournament MVP. He also won the home run title and was selected to the All-Star team as an outfielder as well.
In September 1997, Bong helped his team to capture another national title at the 51st Golden Lion Flag National High School Baseball Championship. He was named Best Pitcher, earning 4 out of the team's 5 wins as a utility pitcher. As a batter, Bong finished runner-up in batting (.571, 8-for-14) and won the stolen bases title,
Notable international careers
|1997||Canada||World Junior Baseball Championship||5th||.500 BA (18-for-36), 4 HR, 14 RBI
MVP, All-Star (OF), HR title
Major League Baseball career
Bong began his career with the Braves, pitching 6 innings in one game in 2002. The next year, he was moved to the bullpen and pitched in 44 games, winning six and losing two, and recorded his first save. With the Reds in 2004, he pitched 15 1⁄3 innings, winning one game and losing one. He missed the whole 2005 season due to shoulder surgery, and the Reds outrighted him to Triple-A Louisville after the season.
KBO League career
The Reds released him on May 12, 2006; he returned to Korea to continue his career.
Bong also appeared in the 2009 World Baseball Classic against Japan as a starter, allowing 3 hits and scoring 2 strikeouts in 5 1⁄3 innings for a 1–0 victory.
Notable international careers
|2006||United States||World Baseball Classic||0–0, 0.00 ERA (3 G, 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 K)|
|2008||China||Olympic Games||0–0, 8.31 ERA (2 G, 8.2 IP, 8 ER, 6 K)|
|2009||United States||World Baseball Classic||2–0, 0.51 ERA (4 G, 17.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 K)
|2010||China||Asian Games||0–0, 0.00 ERA (1 G, 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 K)|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Career statistics and player information from Korea Baseball Organization
- "Bong Jung-Keun". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
- Jung-Keun Bong at databaseOlympics.com at the Wayback Machine (archived 2011-09-28)
- Bong Jung-keun Fancafe at Daum (in Korean)