Choi Hyung-woo (40, Kia), who is a supporter of KIA’s batting line and is certain to enter the KBO Hall of Fame in the future, tilted his head to one question in June. At that time, KIA’s overall batting lineup was a little chaotic due to the injury of Na Sung-bum and Kim Do-young. There were also positions where the starting position was not decided. Na Sung-beom was scheduled to return after July due to a calf injury and Kim Do-young a foot injury.
The general expectation and comfort was that if the two players return, the batting line would still be stronger. Na Sung-bum is the top hitter in the league. Last year, he also added a huge amount of firepower in the KIA center lineup. Ahead of this season, Kim Do-young drew a rise to the point where there is no disagreement with the evaluation that he is the “most grown fielder” inside and outside the club. It was clear that the departure of the two players was a major negative factor. However, Choi Hyung-woo, a veteran of the veterans, maintained a conservative view until then. 스포츠토토
Choi Hyung-woo asked the question, “Na Sung-bum is missing, but Lee Woo-sung and other players are doing well. As you know, Kim Do-young was not the main player last year. It was not to devalue Kim Do-young’s possibility or potential. As there is no clear number shown so far, they were wary that excessive expectations could lead to greater disappointment in the future. So anyway, he said that the current players are important. This is because even if two players return, they cannot play baseball with two players.
It was a cold diagnosis that he could do because he was a veteran, and the right conservative veteran. Fortunately, Choi Hyung-woo’s expectations are breaking down pleasantly. Na Sung-bum is showing off better scoring productivity than last year. And Kim Do-young is playing as a main player and is now making his own numbers one by one that can be presented next year.
Na Sung-bum is turning his bat as if to vent his anger over his inability to play due to injury. He has a batting average of 0.344, 14 homers, 44 RBIs, and 1.055 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) in 46 games of the season until the 3rd. It also has a high batting average of 0.346 in scoring position. Although there are fewer samples than last year, the OPS (.910) is much higher than last year. What it would have been like if we had been together from the start of the season is a performance that makes you feel sad. The level exceeds Choi Hyung-woo’s conservative expectation that even if he scores around last year, he will be excellent.
The same goes for Kim Do-young. Kim Do-young was not a firm mainstay of the team as Choi Hyung-woo said last year. I knew there was a lot of possibility, but it was hard to say that the 0.674 OPS recorded in 103 games last year belonged to the main player.
However, this year is also a surprising rise that Choi Hyung-woo is pleased with. He has a batting average of 0.308, three home runs, 25 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.833 in 48 games of the season, recording more than 40% of the league’s average scoring productivity compared to the same position.
However, as Choi Hyung-woo said, it is difficult to explain the all-time performance of the KIA lineup in the second half with only the two players. KIA has a team batting average of 0.306 and a team OPS of 0.828, in the second half of the year when the team’s performance returned to full strength. The opponent’s mound is a scary performance.
If the OPS hits 0.800 or more these days, it is possible to challenge the All-Star depending on the position, but since the team OPS is 0.828, you can see how scary the tiger’s roar is. In the end, it is accurate to see that the good performance and step-up of existing players and the addition of the two players are creating synergy effects.
It cannot be ignored that Choi Hyung-woo and Kim Sun-bin Socrates are doing their part in their place. When looking at the first half of the season, the three players are selected as players who consistently gave up their performance. On top of that, Park Chan-ho, who was sluggish at the beginning of the season, is leading the team’s attack with a great performance in the second half, and Kim Do-young and Na Sung-bum supported him favorably, causing a big explosion of the team’s attack. The solution ability of Choi Hyung-woo and Socrates has also been shining more recently.
On top of that, it cannot be ignored that Lee Woo-sung played in many games in the first half and held up well, and Ko Jong-wook is the best left-handed substitute resource in the league. Choi Won-joon and Hwang Dae-in’s performance are somewhat disappointing, but Byun Woo-hyuk and Han Jun-su’s long-range hitting power has something to look forward to. The catcher position, which remained the worst offense in the league, recruited Kim Tae-gun in a trade and raised it above average. Kim Tae-gun has been doing well with a batting average of 0.298 in 34 games since his transfer to KIA.
It is also a lineup that is more anticipated next year. Na Sung-beom does not see any signs anywhere that his physical ability has yet to decline according to the player’s confidence. The energy of Park Chan-ho and Kim Do-young, who have opened their eyes to the batting, will shine more, and there is a possibility that the performance of Choi Won-joon, Hwang Dae-in, Byun Woo-hyuk will be better than this year, which hit the bottom. The fact that there are more young players in their early, mid-20s to early 30s than veterans in the lineup also raises expectations. It is inevitable that attention cannot be paid to whether the step-up of KIA’s batting line, which everyone made, will drive this momentum and continue in the future.