Roger Dean Stadium was bathed in sunshine, then covered in dark clouds by game time, then drenched in rain. The weather in Florida in the middle of summer is fickle.

It’s been much like that for Won Bin Cho, 20, who plays for the Palm Beach Cardinals, the Single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals that calls the state home. After struggling to a .148 batting average (8-for-54) in 16 games in April, he rebounded to a .338 batting average (25-for-74) in 21 games in May. He has a .449 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage.

Ranked as the 21st best Cardinals prospect by, he’s still sweating it out for a bright spot in the not-too-distant future.

We caught up with him to talk.

We’re about two months into the new season. How are you doing?

I’m doing well. Everything around me is better than last year. I’m using the same clubhouse that major league players use during spring training. I thought (the environment) would get better as you go up the levels. I think we have the best environment here. Rookie-level players have different lockers and different training hours.

It’s the first time I’ve played a so-called ‘full season’. It must be different from high school and the rookie level.

I’m learning about playing every day. The most important thing is mental management. It’s a long season, so I’m learning that I don’t have to feel bad if I don’t play a game, and I don’t have to feel good if I play well, which is still hard for me to accept. If I don’t play well, I feel bad the next day, and it seems like it goes on and on. It’s all about how you handle that part. Physically, I’m playing a lot, but I’m resting a lot, sleeping a lot, and doing recovery exercises, so it’s not a problem.

Do you have any teammates who help you in particular?

I have a lot of older brothers on the team who came out of college and were drafted. They’ve been playing with this team (Single-A) since last year. They have a better feel for the game and a different approach to the game than younger players like me. I’m learning a lot by watching them play.

When people think of the minor leagues, they think of the ‘hard road trip’.

The team travels more than an hour away, stays in a hotel, and plays back-to-back games for a week. I don’t know how long the bus ride is because I usually sleep or look at my phone. I think it’s about two to three hours.

In April, I had a bad month.

In April, I don’t know. I had a good spring camp and my body was ready, but the results didn’t follow. As a hitter, you can’t help but care about the numbers, even if you think you’re playing well. I got desperate when my numbers weren’t coming in. Even though the team says that they don’t evaluate the batting average, but rather the quality of the batting and the number of runs scored, when you’re playing, you see the scoreboard, and even though you think you’re doing well, you can’t help but worry that you’re not meeting expectations.

To be honest, I’ve never played a lot of games before. I wonder what my stats will look like when I play close to 100 games this year.

What do you think it will be?

I don’t want to make any predictions right now. The feeling of hitting keeps coming and going. Each at-bat is not easy. I’m still building my game.

When I was a rookie, pitchers threw whatever they wanted to throw, but now they come in to get me. I analyze my pitches and if I see a weakness in a pitch, I use it. It’s not easy to have the mindset of ‘I had a good at-bat, so I’m going to keep doing this’. Right now, I’m doing well against fastballs, but because I’ve been hitting them so well, my opponents are almost exclusively using changeups. You can try to get a ground ball, but there are times when a changeup comes in for a strike, and when the count is against you, you feel rushed. I’m trying to do toe-taps, I’m trying to hit it with my foot, and I’m trying to do everything I can.

The minor leagues emphasize practice over training. At the end of the day, practice is the only answer, right?

There’s a game every day, so you have to find a way through it and get through it. I’ve been working on imagery, but it’s different when you’re facing a pitcher. My coach and instructors are helping me a lot. They’re creating drills and doing extra work.

안전놀이터 It’s still early in the season, but I’m still feeling good in terms of seeing the ball and hitting it. They’re also helping me with my fitness. I believe that if I work on the things I’m not doing well, the results will be better.

You once posted a video on Instagram of you looking at the ball after hitting a home run. Can you explain that?

It was against the Detroit Tigers. It was a rainy day and the stadium was dark. The ball was going to right field and I couldn’t see it very well, so I was looking at the ball, but the other team was throwing their bats and watching the ball right after I hit it, so I think they felt bad. The manager and coach complained to the umpire. Luckily, I didn’t get hit with a beanball (laughs). My teammates were laughing and saying, “Why are you watching the batting,” and I thought, “Oh, I shouldn’t do that.” I threw the bat on purpose. Throwing the bat isn’t something you do on purpose, it’s something that comes out when you hit unconsciously. I realized that my opponent might be offended by my mindless behavior.

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