“Defense at first base is burdensome… ”
KIA left-handed slugger prospect Kim Seok-hwan (23) played in only four games in the first team this season. He actually didn’t show much in those four games. He went 1-for-14 with a batting average of .071, 2 RBI, 1 run, and an OPS of .204. He received harsh criticism from SBS Sports commentator Lee Sun-cheol, who broadcast the game in which Kim Seok-hwan appeared, saying that his ability to handle breaking balls was too poor.안전놀이터
Kim Seok-hwan dominated the Futures League this year. After the game against Busan Lotte on June 3, he returned to the second team and played in the Futures League. In 79 games, he recorded 82 hits in 267 at-bats, a batting average of 0.307, 18 home runs, 73 RBIs, 48 runs, an on-base percentage of 0.413, a slugging percentage of 0.573, and an OPS of 0.986.
He ranked first in home runs, RBIs, third in slugging percentage, sixth in on-base percentage, eighth in batting average, and tied for ninth in runs scored in the Futures League, which ended on the 24th. This is the ranking of the Southern League and Northern League combined. Bombing the Futures League is by no means a guarantee of performance in the first team. There is a clear gap with the first team.
Nevertheless, it was a bit questionable that coach Kim Jong-kook rarely placed Kim Seok-hwan in the first team after June despite his hard hitting. Moreover, last year’s first baseman Hwang Dae-in was in and out of the first and second teams throughout the season due to injuries and poor performance this year, and Byun Woo-hyuk also could not find a place in the first team.
It seemed like an opportunity would open up for Kim Seok-hwan, who played first base last year, but that wasn’t the case. After all, there was a reason. Coach Kim Jong-guk said ahead of the Changwon NC game on the 26th, “Seok-hwan only saw the outfield until high school. “Last year, he briefly played first base with the first team, but he didn’t play first base the last time in the Futures League either.”
Manager Kim instructed Kim Seok-hwan to play first base in parallel to expand the range of opportunities, but it is rumored that Kim Seok-hwan actually had difficulty defending first base. Coach Kim said, “Defending first base is difficult these days. He has a lot of left-handed hitters who pull well. “He must defend first base well.”
In fact, Manager Kim once praised Kim Seok-hwan, saying that he can stabilize first base defense and instill trust in his fellow infielders due to his height. However, Kim Seok-hwan actually had a burden on first base defense. Coach Kim said, “I felt burdened by first base defense, so I only saw the outfield in the Futures League. “If it weren’t for that, he could have made it to the first team sooner.”
KIA does not have a clear starting first baseman, but its outfield depth is the strongest among the 10 teams. Despite the recent departures of Na Seong-beom, Choi Won-jun, and Choi Hyeong-woo, the team has been able to hold on thanks to the presence of Socrates Brito, Lee Woo-seong, Lee Chang-jin, Ko Jong-wook, and Kim Ho-ryeong. If Choi Hyung-woo plays normally, he is the designated hitter, so there are 6 to 7 outfielders who are either the first team starter or the starter and backup.
This is why Coach Kim couldn’t call up Kim Seok-hwan to the first team even if he wanted to. This is because it is difficult to give him a chance even if he is promoted to the first team. Instead, Kim Seok-hwan only looked at the outfield, which eased his defensive burden, and it should be seen that this had a positive effect on his batting as well.
Anyway, this is the time when expanded entry is applied. Due to Hwang Dae-in’s poor performance, he was dramatically called up to the first team ahead of the Changwon NC match on the 26th. He also missed the game on the 26th. However, since the game against Changwon NC on the 27th is a double header, there is a possibility of getting a chance to play.Director Kim said, “If the opportunity comes, I hope I can do it comfortably. “And when an opportunity comes in the first team, you have to seize it,” he said. Many players who bombed the Futures League did not succeed in the first team either. However, it is necessary to give time to see whether it works in the first team or not. We are in the midst of a fierce battle for the top 5, but crisis is an opportunity.