The KIA Tigers, ahead of the opening of spring camp, must solve various tasks.
The mound is solid. The fifth starting rotation is filled early, and the bullpen has to worry about idle resources. However, fierce battles are inevitable on the beast side. With Park Dong-won’s departure, they have to fill the home room that became Muju-gongsan, and they have to find resources to take charge of a corner outfield position until Choi Won-joon, who is discharged from the military in June, joins. In the infield, the powerful keystone combination of Park Chan-ho and Kim Sun-bin is holding up, but question marks are attached to the first and third baseman positions.
Of these, the most interesting spot is the corner infield. Last year, Hwang Dae-in (27) was in charge of the first baseman position, and Kim Do-yeong (20) and Ryu Ji-hyeok (29) were alternately appointed as the third baseman. Hwang Dae-in played as a full-time first team starter for the first time in his debut last season, but struggled as he could not overcome physical problems in the second half. Before Kim Do-young’s debut, praises such as ‘5 Tool Player’ and ‘Lee Jong-beom’s Second Coming’ were lined up, but he could not overcome the weight of the first group. Ryu Ji-hyeok took charge of 1st and 3rd base alternately and achieved some results, but it is true that there is a feeling that he is somewhat lacking in securing the title of the main player in both offense and defense.
In the midst of this, attention is focused on the performance of Byun Woo-hyuk (23), who joined the KIA after last season.
Byun Woo-hyuk, who wore the Hanwha Eagles uniform as the first nomination for the 2019 rookie draft, received great attention as a geopo prospect during his time at Cheonan Bukil High School. He debuted in the first team in 2019, the first year of his debut, and had a batting average of 2.4 6 Lee (28 hits in 114 at-bats), 4 home runs and 10 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.681 in 50 first-team games for the next two seasons. Afterwards, he enlisted in the Armed Forces Sports Unit (Sangmu) and recorded a batting average of 2.23 (134 hits in 602 at-bats), 16 homers, 103 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.651 in 189 games in the Futures (2nd Division) League.
It is true that after his professional debut, Byun Woo-hyeok suffered from an injury and his growth was stagnant. However, as he finished his military service, he focused on strengthening his stamina and had a foothold in the competition. The KIA, which handed over pitcher Han Seung-hyuk (30) Jang Ji-su (23) to Hanwha and chose Byun Woo-hyuk, checked his physical condition carefully before signing and gave an OK sign.
Byun Woo-hyeok was mainly in charge of first base during his Hanwha days. He was praised for his wide range of defense and good batting ability. After he was discharged, he created a foothold in which he could alternate between the two positions while also taking on third base defense. In terms of his defense, his overall performance was not perfect, but it was evaluated that his growth potential was great as he accumulated experience in continuous appearances. As for his batting side, he was considered one of the best prospects in his high school days, so it is seen that his qualities are sufficient. 메이저놀이터
KIA coach Kim Jong-guk has classified Byun Woo-hyuk as a competitive resource for third base. The idea is to test your skills at the third baseman position with Kim Do-young and Ryu Ji-hyeok at this camp. However, it is possible to form a new competitive structure in that he has shown excellent talent in defending first base and has the ability to produce mid- to long-distance batting balls like Hwang Dae-in. In the end, depending on the performance that Byun Woo-hyuk, who can be responsible for both positions, will show in the United States, the KIA’s new season corner infield competition will inevitably be affected.