“If we didn’t win gold…”.
Kiwoom Heroes head coach Hong Won-ki breathes a sigh of relief. He’ll still have Kim Hye-sung next year. If Lee Jung-hoo were to move on to the major leagues after the season, Kim Hye-sung was the only player he could count on. He was dramatically granted military service benefits at a time when he would have had to enlist if he hadn’t won gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games 메이저사이트.
Hong said before the game against the KIA Tigers on Nov. 11, “If Hye-sung hadn’t won the gold medal, she would have had to enlist. Fortunately, I can go with them next season. If Lee Jung-hoo is out, Hyesung should be the centerpiece. Especially in the infield, Hyosung is the center. The players who support her should stand out,” he said.
His stats are impressive. In 136 games, he has 617 at-bats. He’s batting .303 with 185 hits, 103 runs scored, 57 RBIs, seven home runs, 26 doubles, an OPS of .840, and a 3-for-4 slugging percentage in scoring position. If Kim enlists in the military, the Kiwoom batting lineup will be reduced to a watered-down version of itself. Hong was the one who cheered the most after winning the gold medal.
He is an irreplaceable force in Kiwoom. If Lee Jung-hoo is gone and Kim Hye-sung is enlisted, it will be difficult to organize the team. He cheered for the Asian Games gold more than anyone else. He was the one who was most anxious after the 0-4 loss to Chinese Taipei in the first round. The thought of the 2024 season without Kim Hye-sung makes me dizzy.
With fall baseball out of the picture, Hong is preparing for next season with younger players. Lee Joo-hyung, who was traded to LG for starter Choi Won-tae, has been touted as Lee’s successor after showing off his batting talent. However, Lee Ju-hyung is not enough. New talent must be found or existing players must improve.
“Lee Ju-hyung has done a good job, and outfielder Park Soo-jong has continued to play well,” Hong said. He’s quick on his feet and has good outfield defense and hitting. He can be a good option in the outfield. In the infield, Lim Ji-yeol is good. I had high hopes for Song Sung-moon this year, but he had a tough season due to early injuries. If he improves significantly next year, he will help the batting lineup.”
Finding new faces is the theme of the final camp and next year’s spring camp. Kiwoom will begin its wrap-up camp in Wonju, Gangwon Province, on May 22. “We will focus on intense training and discovering new players,” said Hong. “We will focus on intense training and discovering new players. We will also check the skills of the rookies mainly in practice.” This means that the new 2024 batting lineup will be centered on Kim Hye-sung.