“There are players moving from Canberra to Kochi. “No players go from Kochi to Okinawa.”

KIA Tigers coach Lee Beom-ho said this after temporarily returning to Korea at Incheon International Airport on the 21st. The club immediately announced this player’s departure to Kochi along with Go Myeong-seong, Oh Sun-woo, and Kim Gyu-seong. Although it is an honor to be called the second Seung-Yeop Lee, outfielder Kim Seok-Hwan (25) said that he wants to become the first Kim Seok-Hwan.

Kim Seok-hwan earned the nickname ‘the second Lee Seung-yeop’ when Doosan Bears head coach Park Heung-sik was working as a hitting coach and acting manager for the KIA 1st and 2nd teams. It was given this name because his swing is so smooth and reminiscent of that of coach Lee Seung-yeop.

Seok-Hwan Kim announced a year ago at the Tucson Spring Camp in Arizona, USA that he wanted to become the No. 1 Seok-Hwan Kim, but he failed to achieve his goal. In 12 games in the 2023 season, he had a batting average of 0.130, 3 RBIs, 1 run, and an OPS of 0.374. He didn’t have many opportunities in the first team, and he couldn’t take advantage of the few opportunities he had.

However, this does not mean that Kim Seok-hwan had no achievements in the 2023 season. He became the Futures League home run leader and RBI leader. In 79 games, he had a batting average of .307, 18 home runs, 73 RBI, 48 runs, and an OPS of 0.986. And there was a more important change.

He gave up his job as a first baseman. Kim Seok-hwan has also played first base. If he wanted to survive in the first team, he had to be an outfielder. This is because while KIA’s outfield depth is very strong, first base is relatively weak. However, Kim Seok-hwan accepted the challenge of playing defense between the inside and outfield. In the end, he focused only on the outfield in the second team.

He is good at multiple positions. However, if his striking is adversely affected, a strategic decision is also needed. He clearly performed well in the second team. In the end, what matters is competitiveness in the first team. First of all, I trained normally at the Canberra spring camp. And he didn’t go to Okinawa. He goes to Kochi instead.

Coach Lee Beom-ho said at Incheon Airport, “We took a lot of players to Australia. Now we will split the camps into Kochi and Okinawa. I plan to change it and check it during the demonstration game. I will check both places and make an entry for the opening game. “I sent the players I saw a lot to Kochi and brought the players I saw with me,” he said.

Coach Beom-ho Lee will lead the Okinawa practice game starting on the 25th. First of all, the Kochi camp only receives reports. However, the four players who went to the Kochi camp are only out of Coach Lee Beom-ho’s sight for the time being, but have not disappeared from his plans. There is also a final audition stage called an exhibition match.

What will happen to Seok-Hwan Kim this year? His batting talent is clearly there. Coach Beom-ho Lee has also been watching him closely since his days as a hitting coach. This is a card that cannot be given up on by KIA, which needs to develop heavy hitters after Choi Hyung-woo and Na Seong-beom. Byun Woo-hyuk is running toward the starting first baseman position. On the other hand, Seok-Hwan Kim decided to focus on the outfield. The difference is that Kim Seok-hwan has to overcome relatively fiercer competition.

At this point, KIA’s outfield depth is the best in the league. In this respect, Kim Seok-hwan is bound to suffer a relative loss. However, for any team or any player, it is difficult for a latecomer to survive in the first team without overtaking the existing starters. Being a 2nd team title holder does not necessarily guarantee success in the 1st team. Seok-Hwan Kim is still fighting for survival.

for more info check this :

for more info check this : 스포츠토토킹