Young-min Ko

From BR Bullpen

Young-min Ko

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 161 lb.

Young-min Ko is an infielder with the Doosan Bears.

Ko debuted with Doosan in 2002, going 1 for 10 in 16 games at age 18. The next year, he was 3 for 13 in 32 games. Ko did not play with Doosan in 2004. In 2005, he went 2 for 17. At age 22, Ko became a regular and hit .270/~.344/.368. In 2007, he improved with a .268/.373/.419 batting line and 36 stolen bases in 46 tries. He finished third in the Korea Baseball Organization that year. Ko's Bears made it to the 2007 Korean Series only to lose in six games.

Ko debuted with the South Korean national team for the 2007 Asian Championship and dazzled, batting .462/.462/1.000 with 6 runs, 5 RBI and 2 homers in 3 games but made a run-costing error in a one-run loss to the Japanese national team that prevented them from clinching a spot in the 2008 Olympics. Ko tied Chin-Feng Chen for the tournament lead in home runs, tied Takahiro Arai and Jong-wook Lee for second in RBI, one behind Chen and led in runs, two ahead of Atsunori Inaba and Cheng-Min Peng. Ko won the KBO Gold Glove Award as the best second baseman in the league.

Ko did help South Korea get to the 2008 Olympics with his work in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament. He hit .368/.480/.421 with 10 runs in six games. He was one run behind Yong-kyu Lee for the tournament lead. He also drove in four runs in a game against Spain.

Ko only hit .208/.269/.333 as the South Korean second sacker in the 2008 Olympics and was caught stealing in 2 of 3 attempts. Ko's big hit in the Summer Games was a 3-run homer off of Chien-Fu Yang in the 8-7 Korean win over Taiwan. Korea went unbeaten and won Gold.

In the 2008 KBO, Ko hit .267/.388/.379 with 39 steals in 48 tries, 88 walks and 84 runs. He led the KBO in walks, was third in runs and fourth in steals. He lost the Gold Glove at 2B to Sung-hwan Cho. He helped Doosan make the 2008 Korean Series, where they lost to the SK Wyverns.

Ko backed up Keun-woo Jeong at second base in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, hitting .308/.400/.615 with a solo homer off Oliver Perez. In the championship game, he made a critical error to help set up Japan's first run in South Korea's 5-3 loss.

Sources: KBO player page, IBAF site, 2008 Olympics, World Baseball Classic