KIA, which achieved its biggest goal of returning to the postseason with bold investments last year, looks to a higher place this year. There was bad news that Park Dong-won (LG), who was the main catcher, left, but we are looking forward to the performance of the main players and the growth of young players.
Expected elements are visible throughout the camp. It is evaluated that the left-handed power, which was a problem last year, has been greatly strengthened, and the explosion of young geopo resources that have been steadily accumulated in the meantime is also raising expectations. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk also sets the biggest goal of this camp as ‘strengthening the player base’ and is staring at the surroundings of the camp with a sharp gaze. Through the reporter’s SNS and e-mail, KIA fans asked how the players who could raise expectations were spending the camp and how they would use it. Director Kim Jong-guk replied.
Q) With the addition of Kim Ki-hoon, Choi Ji-min, and Kim Dae-yu, left-handed power has been strengthened. How does this affect the idea of the bullpen?
Manager Kim Jong-guk: Until last year, there were three right-handers, Pil Seung-jo (Jeong Hae-young, Jeon Sang-hyun, and Jang Hyeon-sik). Regardless of left and right, if the pitching and skills are good, left-handers can also join the winning team. If the left and right balance is achieved, the bullpen depth will also be strengthened. In the case of Ji-min Choi as well as Ki-hoon Kim and Dae-yu Kim, their control has been stable and their speed has improved a lot since returning from Geelong Korea. I’m looking forward to it a lot.
Q) I am curious about the current evaluation of Yun Young-chul.
Q) Do you plan to use Yoon Young-cheol as a bullpen when he is pushed out of the selection competition, or do you plan to have him gain experience in the second team?
Director Kim Jong-guk: First of all, prepare for selection. 5 was put in as a starting candidate. (If you drop out of the selection competition) If you have a strong pitch, you can use it as a bullpen in the first team, but in the long run, my personal thought is that I should prepare a little more for selection classes by rotating in the Futures League. I think I will watch the demonstration games and make the final decision when I enter the season.
I’ve seen pitching twice, and I think I have a very good sense of baseball. It is also mentally bold. He got the impression that he was the type of player who knows a lot about baseball and is good at it. He’s pitched a lot since he was a kid, so he knows how to deal with hitters. It is very high for a class that has just graduated from high school. It is a style that can be used even in pros.
Q) There are young giants such as Kim Seok-hwan and Byun Woo-hyeok. I am curious about their current evaluation and the conditions for settling in the first team.
Director Kim Jong-guk: It’s a competitive system. Both Byun Woo-hyuk and Kim Seok-hwan must compete for third base or first base. From my point of view, if you pay attention to the on-base percentage and contact rather than hitting only home runs because it is a big shot, you have power, so if you get hit, you get a lot of home runs and your slugging power goes up. Rather than unconditionally swinging as a giant gun, you have to be patient with the ball and go on base when you go on base. The same goes for Hwang Dae-in. This year, we have to show our mature growth in that way. Byun Woo-hyeok is also a player with good long hitting power, so he plans to use his strength in hitting rather than defense.
Q) Kim Do-young’s batting performance improved in the second half of last year. Is there a possibility to start?
Q) I’m curious about how to utilize Doyoung Kim this season.
Head coach Kim Jong-guk: Kim Do-young received a lot of expectations from the media and fans because he played so well last year, but in the first half, it seemed that the player shrank and became timid. In the second half, he talked a lot with his hitting coaches and became more at ease, so his skills seem to have improved. This year, Doyoung Kim came prepared well. If there are no major injuries, I wonder if Kim Do-young will show a good figure this year, better than last year’s second half.
Q) It is expected that there will be various variables in the season operation, such as the vacancy of key players selected due to the international competition scheduled for this year and the fitness management of the selected players. Do you have any ideas for alternatives?
Director Kim Jong-guk: First of all, Yang Hyeon-jong has a lot of experience, so I’m not too worried… Yang Hyeon-jong is not in the starting rotation in the national team, but in the middle, so it takes a little bit of pitching. He hopes that he will prepare by raising the number of pitches a little. He thinks he will be selected as a player for the Asian Games. I think Eui-Ri Lee as well as Hae-Young Jeong can join. So he cares more about the player base. Eui-ri Lee thinks he will increase the number of pitches while preparing as a starter, but he will manage it.
Q) Kim Gyu-seong did a good job in Geelong Korea. How is his current condition?
Manager Kim Jong-kook: Should I say that Kim Kyu-seong brought a mature hitting mechanism from Geelong Korea? He was a big swinger before then, but now he has improved his pushing ability and his ability to hold contact and manipulative pitches. He is basically a stable player on defense, and a stable player on base. He has an overall stable defense and has the advantage of being the main player, so he plans to use it when Park Chan-ho needs to rest.
Q) Do you have any ideas about the batting order or defensive position of Choi Won-joon, who will be discharged in June?
Director Kim Jong-guk: You can join from June 14th (laughs). When Choi Won-joon comes in, it helps the team. Lee Chang-jin was also good, but with Choi Won-joon, the outfield player base will be much thicker. Even if there are injured players, Kim Ho-ryeong is there, so it can be seen that the outfield will become thicker. When Choi Won-jun comes, he will compete for two positions in the outfield. Expectations, but good players will go out anyway. Choi Hyeong-woo plays a lot as a designated hitter, but he is also preparing for defense.
Q) In the second half of the season, it was too much to lose by giving away games that could have been won at the beginning of the season. I wonder what goals you will run for the beginning of the season differently from last year in the 23rd season, which will be the second year.
Director Kim Jong-guk: Overall, we expect that the strength of the 10 clubs has been leveled. 1 win from the beginning, 1 win is very important. It’s not easy to climb up if you fall in the beginning. I’m thinking of running a little more sprinting from the opening game. The players will be preparing for that too. There may be a long view, but this year, April and May seem to be the most important. There will be a rotation of players, but I plan to operate it with the feeling of watching a game. 스포츠토토