The bat of the desperate national baseball team never cools down. Regardless of position and batting order, he is swinging hard hits every day in practice games, raising expectations for the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which is approaching 10 days ahead.
After the convocation of the national team, Kim Hye-seong showed off the climax of hitting. As if in a show of force against the starting second baseman, Tommy Edman, who had not yet joined the camp, he hit the plate as soon as he stepped into the plate. He went 9-for-14 throughout all four practice games, posting a team-best batting average of 0.643.
At the forefront was Kim Hye-seong (24). In the match against KT Wiz held on the 25th (Korean time) at the Keno Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, USA, he started as the 9th batter and second baseman and scored 4 hits, including a triple. It was the first game with three or more hits in five days, following the KIA Tigers match on the 20th (3 hits in 3 at-bats).안전놀이터
He maintained a batting average of 300 even with backup shortstop Oh Ji-hwan, and a smile bloomed on national team coach Lee Kang-cheol’s face. Immediately after the practice game the day before, he joked, “Should I send Ha-seong Kim and Edmon as backups?”
KT’s new and old gun duo also showed off their solver instincts, lightening the shoulders of coach Lee, who is a member of their team. Kang Baek-ho recorded a batting average of 0.316, 2 home runs and 5 RBIs in all 4 games despite not being able to add a hit in the game on the 25th. Park Byeong-ho scored 1 home run and 6 RBIs with a batting average of 50%.
Choi Jeong-eun of the SSG Landers, who is likely to play in the last WBC, showed the potential of a veteran by taking 5 walks while recording 4 hits and 1 home run in 7 at-bats. Even Choi Ji-hoon, who belatedly boarded the vacant seat of big leaguer Choi Ji-man, proved his ‘class’ with 3 hits in 7 at-bats.
Excluding Kim Ha-seong and Edmon, who have yet to join, 11 out of 13 hitters on the national team exceeded 30%. Yang Eui-ji and Park Gun-woo also sporadically hit and adjusted the feel of the hit.
The range of available players for the national team is expected to widen even further by showing high-sensitivity hitting regardless of starting and backing. It is expected that Lee Ji-young will be able to relieve the burden of Yang Eui-ji, the main hostess, in the catcher position. In terms of hitting feel, Lee Ji-young, with 4 hits in 11 at-bats, looks better.
If this momentum can be maintained until the tournament, breath will be opened not only on the home plate but also throughout the field. Oh Ji-hwan, who can even defend third base depending on the situation, firmly supports Choi Jeong. Kim Hye-seong is also a utility player who played third base and shortstop in the professional league. Kang Baek-ho and Park Byeong-ho hold out at first base, and even Kim Hyun-soo can wear a mitt in case of emergency. It is also encouraging that Park Hae-min and Choi Ji-hoon, who are outfield backups, are both scoring more than 40%.