Comparing outstanding prospects to the legendary players who walked the road before them is a thing in any stage and in any sport. It symbolizes that the higher the value of the legendary name, the greater the expectations placed on the prospect. It can be a burden sometimes, but it is not an honor that everyone enjoys.
As every team has one or two such players, KIA is also expecting two promising prospects with outstanding talent. The main characters are infielder Kim Do-young (20), who joined the KIA after being nominated for the first time in 2022, and infielder Byun Woo-hyuk (23), who joined the team in a post-season trade in 2022. Although they have not yet achieved tangible results, they are the key future drivers that everyone is watching with bated breath as players who still have more days to play.
Kim Do-young received high expectations early on as a hitter who dominated the amateur league during Dongsung High School. The glorious modifier ‘the second Lee Jong-beom’ was not simply given by fans. Scouts who watched the players on the field even said that they reminded them of Lee Jong-beom’s childhood in many ways. His outstanding athletic ability, which is hard to believe for a high school student, was at the center of it. He played well and was explosive.
Byun Woo-hyeok, who graduated from Bukil High School and received the first nomination from Hanwha in 2019, also grew up hearing the story of ‘the second Kim Tae-gyun’. It’s not because the route of graduating from Bukil High School and being nominated for the first time in Hanwha was similar. At least, his strength was at an amateur level, and even if he showed it to the world, he was not inferior among his peers. Scouts said that the quality of offense and defense were not inferior to those of Kim Tae-gyun in high school.
They are players with the potential to grow into enormous stars if they are raised well. However, it has not yet been able to express its potential on the ground. In the end, depending on the efforts and strategies of the players, the KIA coaching staff, and the front desk, it depends on whether he will grow into a real superstar or become just another forgotten ‘second’ player. 2023 is such an important year.
In the second half of last year, his potential was hinted at. Contrary to his great expectations, Kim Do-young, who was sluggish in the first half, focused on correcting his form with his eyes on the game in the 1st team rather than gaining game experience in the 2nd team. He may have been considerate of the coaching staff of the 1st team, but he clearly had a judgment that it would be difficult to find a player like him in the 2nd team. Fortunately, his form stabilized in the second half and he began to show his ability. His batting average went up, and his batting speed went up. It is positive that I found something and finished the season.
Byun Woo-hyuk also went out in 21 games after being discharged and recorded a batting average of 0.262, 3 home runs, 8 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.721. It is unfortunate that he did not even walk a single while striking out 21, but in terms of his slugging power, it can be said that he showed his potential. Once he starts hitting the ball, he is a player who will expand greatly, and what is needed now is the process of adapting to the ball of the first team players and overcoming it. The fact that KIA gave up two pitchers (Han Seung-hyuk and Jang Ji-soo) shows the confidence in the process and the anticipation when the process is over. 메이저사이트
KIA was the most conservative team in the league last year in terms of fielder management. The number of lineups KIA used in 144 games last year was 97, the lowest in the league, and it was less than 9th place LG (111), which had more players with relatively certain skills and clear missions than KIA. It can be seen as director Kim Jong-guk’s tendency, but it is evaluated that it was not irrelevant to the layers of the backup members.
Expectations from Kim Do-young and Byun Woo-hyuk are not just the future, but also the reality of running a beast in 2023. Byun Woo-hyuk will be able to arrange the playing time for first baseman Hwang Dae-in, and Kim Do-young is the best card that can reduce the physical burden of Park Chan-ho and Ryu Ji-hyeok at the same time. Ryu Ji-hyeok and Park Chan-ho are also theoretically capable of multi-position, so the growth of the two players can be a catalyst to reduce the fatigue of the entire KIA infield. Attention is focusing on whether the new players will put coach Kim Jong-kook in happy troubles.