Kiwoom’s second baseman Kim Hye-sung and catcher Kim Dong-heon will be assigned to the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team after the match against Hanwha in Daejeon on the 22nd. The catcher has backup Kim Si-ang, and veteran Lee Ji-young is also on standby at Futures, but Kim Hye-sung’s portion of the second base position is so large that it is difficult to fill it easily.
Kim Hye-sung has played 133 of Kiwoom’s 134 games this season and is having a career high season with a batting average of .331 (179 hits in 540 at-bats) seven home runs, 54 RBIs, 99 runs and 24 steals.837. Son Ah-seop (NC, 162 hits), who is in second place, is leading the most hits by 17 points.
In defense, he played five games (5 starts, 37 ⅓ innings) as a shortstop, but played almost full in 122 games (120 starts, 1033 ⅓ innings) at the second base. While the national team schedule is expected to continue until the 8th of next month, Kiwoom has to play six games without Kim Hye-sung.
Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki said about Kim Hye-sung’s absence ahead of the match against Hanwha in Daejeon on the 22nd, “I think I need to take turns to see the second base, but I can be Kim Tae-jin for now, and some players are preparing in the second division. There is no game for five days after today’s game, but I think we need to make a decision through training,” he said.
All-weather infielder Kim Tae-jin played 19 games (13 starts, 130 ⅓ innings) as a second baseman this year. He has a batting average of 267 (51 hits in 191 at-bats) and 14 RBIs in 68 games this season.
Coach Hong Won-ki said, “I intend to open the door for opportunities for second-tier players as well. As he has moved away from the ranking battle, he is checking players he has not seen often in the first division. In the match against Gocheok NC on the 21st, Park Soo-jong, a second-year-old Yook Sung-ju who made his first start as the eighth batter and right fielder, made a surprise performance with three hits in four at-bats. Park Soo-jong will start the match against Hanwha as the eighth batter and right fielder.
Coach Hong Won-ki said of Park Soo-jong, “There were evaluations that he continued to be good in the second division. It’s the end of the season, and it’s time to figure out several players. It’s not easy to do that in the first starting game, but I think I put a lot of effort into the second division. Such a game will also be a great help to individual players. “I think it will be meaningful for growth in the future.”