Monday, 22nd April 2024

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KIA Dreaming of Happy Worries

The question mark should be changed to an exclamation point.

The 2024 season of KIA in professional baseball is filled with expectations. Analysts say that it has already been solid enough to be classified as a candidate for the championship. This is because only positive factors have increased, with reputable foreign pitchers joining the team while the team’s performance was maintained last season.

However, it is not without question marks. A representative position is the first baseman. This is contrary to the firm position that Kim Sun-bin (second baseman), Park Chan-ho (trickster), and Kim Do-young (third baseman). Since the retirement of Kim Joo-chan, the winner of the 2017 Korean Series, there is no permanent owner. This is why people talk about trade or the recruitment of free agents every season.

The same happened last year. Three of them shared defensive innings. Hwang Dae-in played the most innings in 389 ⅓, followed by Byun Woo-hyuk (358 innings) and Choi Won-joon (321 innings). The slump of Hwang, whose main position is the first baseman, was painful. Byun, who moved from Hanwha to KIA through a trade, was a former third baseman. Choi Won-joon, who was discharged from the military service during the season at Sangmu, is originally an outfielder. 토토사이트 추천

This proves that he had to rack his brains to find the key player. The result was not good enough. Last season, his team’s first baseman clean-up batting average of 0.226 (ranking eighth) and his team’s contribution to victory over substitutes of 0.63 (WAR seventh). Kia has to prepare for the 2024 season with the same issues as the team’s players.

Fortunately, welcome signs are found at exhibition games. He started with Lee Woo-sung. Like Choi Won-jun last year, he was an outfielder who dreamed of changing his position. He displayed multi hits including home runs from the game against NC on Sunday. His goal is to successfully settle in a new position while maintaining offense capability that hit career-high with 0.301 batting average (107 hits in 355 times at bat) and eight homers and 58 RBIs last season.

Since then, Hwang Dae-in has raised his head again. He had two hits including a home run from his first at bat against NC Dinosaurs on Sunday. He hopes that it will send a signal of revival. He had to spend a chilly winter last year, with his annual salary cut by 38.5 percent and the absence of a roster for spring camp in the first division. Since he started his family in December last year, he is preparing for this season with a sense of extraordinary responsibility.

Byun Woo-hyuk, a promising slugger, has not been completely eliminated from the competition. KIA manager Lee Bum-ho has cherished his student since his days as a batting coach. Since his days as a North Korean high school student, he has been well-known for his power, so I have high expectations on his potential. While left-handed hitters such as Na Sung-bum, Choi Hyung-woo and Socrates are abundant, they are also essential for Kia, which has a thirst for right-handed hitters.

KIA manager Lee Bum-ho said at the inauguration ceremony regarding the first baseman, “If there is no problem with defense, it is true that Lee Woo-sung is ahead,” but added, “I will take turns to appoint and choose the players.” The fierce war, which had to mark the exclamation mark on the first base of “Muju Gongsan,” has begun in earnest.

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