“Dae-in shouldn’t relax.”
KIA is putting its life and death on securing and nurturing native giants in the long term. It was of great significance that Hwang Dae-in became a full-time first baseman starting in the 2022 season. He played only as a platoon first baseman, but received full support when manager Kim Jong-guk came into the system.
In 129 games, he had a batting average of .256 with 14 homers, 91 RBIs, and 40 runs scored for an OPS of .716. He exceeded the 80 RBIs he set as a goal. The prevailing prospect is that he will be able to hit 20 home runs in the season once he gains more experience. As he improves his on-base percentage and average, his contribution to the team is expected to increase.
If so, will Hwang Dae-in enter the 2023 season without blood as the main first baseman? It’s hard to answer that. In the second year of his appointment, coach Kim Jong-guk induces ‘competition for position’ again. Of course, Hwang Dae-in is the most likely candidate, but he said, “You must not relax.” 메이저사이트
Among the members Kim is considering to use in the first team this season, there are left-handed hitter Kim Seok-hwan and right-handed hitter Byun Woo-hyuk. Both of them, along with Hwang Dae-in, are prospects for Geopo. Basically, Kim Seok-hwan competes for left field and Byun Woo-hyuk competes for third base. However, if necessary, he can join the competition for first base.
It has to be. The KIA left fielder this season is a rivalry between Lee Chang-jin and Kim Seok-hwan. However, in early June, Choi Won-joon was discharged from managing director and joined the team. In this case, the KIA outfield is very likely to return to the system of Choi Won-joon-Socrates Brito-Na Seong-beom. In the end, there is no guarantee that the left fielder in the opening game will be the full-time starter.
Therefore, coach Kim has plans to rotate Choi Hyung-woo as a designated hitter instead of placing him as a designated hitter. In that case, the outfielder who was pushed out by Choi Won-joon may get a chance as a designated hitter. And in the case of Kim Seok-hwan, a way to use it as a first baseman is open. If Byun Woo-hyuk loses in competition with Ryu Ji-hyeok and Kim Do-young, he will strike out for first base.
What coach Kim pays special attention to is the first base defense. He is basically evaluated for his one-hit ability and production, but his defense is also important. In that respect, Hwang Dae-in has an insecure side. He is not rated for being good on defense. Based on the baseball statistics website Stats, the batted ball handling rate was 89.22%, ranking 30th among infielders and WAA -1.217.
It is true that Kim Seok-hwan’s first base defense has not been verified. This is a case where he started practicing first base defense after joining the pros. However, it is analyzed that because of his height, infielders will have more stability when throwing. Manager Kim said, “If Seok-hwan plays first base, it will be easier for fielders to throw because he is big. In the past, even when (Choi) Hee-seop was first baseman, the fielders were comfortable.” Coach Choi was also a tall first baseman. This means that the target for infielders is widening.
How will KIA’s first base composition go this season? Hwang Dae-in is still the most advanced, but Kim Seok-hwan and Byun Woo-hyeok are likely to join the competition. It is expected that the utilization of the two will increase in the long term, as the club puts its life and death on fostering giant guns.