The KIA Tigers outfield competition is expected to continue throughout the first half. Up to 5 people aim for one remaining seat.
KIA is expected to be fully equipped after mid-June. Na Seong-beom (34), a leading hitter who has not played a single game this season due to left calf pain, will undergo a re-examination on the 23rd. Currently, he is digesting light training with the goal of returning at the end of June.
On June 12,메이저사이트 Choi Won-joon (26), who is serving in the military for the Sangmu baseball team, will be discharged. You can join the first team right away on the 13th. Choi Won-joon is a player who has played as the main outfielder since the 2018 season. In the 2021 season, he scored 0.295 batting average, 82 runs scored, and 40 stolen bases, and served as the main right fielder and first hitter.
The KIA outfield was expected to be reorganized with Na Seong-beom, Socrates Brito, and Choi Won-joon. However, KIA coach Kim Jong-guk said, “Na Seong-beom, the main hitter, will go out (as the starting pitcher) right away,” but “Even if Choi Won-joon returns, he must check his physical condition and game condition. He will not be the starting pitcher right away.”
The KIA maintains a 50% win rate even when top hitters such as Na Seong-beom and Kim Do-young have left due to injuries. Manager Kim Jong-guk cited the young bullpen pitchers who had grown up and the fact that Ko Jong-wook (34), Lee Chang-jin (32), Kim Ho-ryeong (31), and Lee Woo-seong (29), who competed for the starting left fielder, did better than expected as the driving force.
Ko Jong-wook, who has a good batting average of 0.304 in his career, recorded a batting average of 0.325 in 30 games this season. Kim Ho-ryeong is the best defensive player among the team’s outfielders. Lee Woo-sung has the best balance between offense, defense and land. Lee Chang-jin, who played the most as a left fielder last season, is the most behind among the four players. The competition is so fierce.
Choi Won-jun ranked first in the Southern League batting average (0.382), hits (124), on-base percentage (0.509), and slugging percentage (0.511) in the 2022 season of the Futures (2nd team), but this season, as of the 20th, the batting average is only 0.242.
Positioning is also a challenge. Na Seong-beom is a fixed right fielder. Choi Won-jun and Socrates played center field and right field for most of their pro careers. If one plays center field, the other has to play the unfamiliar left field.
When pitcher Han Seung-hyeok (currently Hanwha Eagles) performed well as an alternate fifth starter last season, manager Kim Jong-guk gave Han Seung-hyeok another chance for a while even after Lim Ki-young, who was originally in charge of the position, returned from injury.
The same goes for this season. It seems that the team will not turn a blind eye to the contributions and efforts of the ‘current’ outfielders who have added great strength in difficult times. If Choi Won-joon joins, it may induce more fierce competition. Of course, depending on the opposing team, pitcher, and team situation, various mercenary techniques can be displayed.