Na Sung-beom, the ‘King Tiger’, is about to return to the first team for his first time in the season…”I’ll talk about returning on the 30th or 1st day”

KIA Tigers manager Lee Bum-ho talked about outfielder Na Sung-beom ahead of the first game of the three consecutive weekend series against the LG Twins of the “2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League” at Jamsil Stadium on the 27th.안전놀이터

Na Sung-bum is the “great tiger” who must take the center stage of the team. He started the season with strong ambition but is currently undergoing rehabilitation due to hamstring injury in his right thigh during the exhibition game. Recently, Lee announced the implementation of Na’s technical training. He is preparing to return to the team by taking steps of rehabilitation. He played in the Futures League game for the first official game of the year.

Na started as the third designated hitter in the match against the “2024 Mediheal KBO Futures League” held at Kia Challengers Field in Hampyeong on Tuesday. He had one hit in three times at bat. He garnered a hit in the middle from his first at bat, elevating his performance. He then returned to center field as a fly ball in the second and left field as a fly ball in the third.

“He sent me videos of everything I hit, and I liked everything. Even after I join the first team, I will not play full-length games from the beginning. I think I can call him when I am somewhat ready,” Lee said. “I will watch one or two games in the Futures League and use him as a designated hitter and substitute. Afterwards, I will train him for outfield defense and running, and if I see that he will be able to defend himself through the drills that he did in the Futures League while playing, I will also play defense. I am fully fit, but I will try to control myself for five days to a week even after the first team call-up just in case.”

The specific call-up period is a home game against KT Wiz, which will be held at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju from the 30th to the 2nd of next month. Manager Lee is considering whether to call up left-handed hitter Na Sung-bum or call him up a day later (the 1st of next month) because the starting pitcher on the 30th is Wes Benjamin.

KIA is currently leading the league (20 wins and 9 losses). The gap is two games shorter than the second-ranked NC Dinos (18 wins and 11 losses). The team that started with the goal of running for the presidency is playing as planned. In particular, the team won 13-2 at the match against the Kiwoom Heroes in Gocheok on the 25th, becoming the shortest team to win 20 games (27 games / 28 games – 1993 and 2017) for the first time in the club’s history. The pace is truly the best ever. Although the main gun Na Sung-beom is absent from the lineup, Choi Won-joon (35 hits in batting average of 0.354/99 times at bat), Lee Woo-sung (0.336/110 times at bat), and Kim Do-young (0.331/12 times at bat) are showing an upward curve.

If Na returns under this circumstance, Kia’s batting lineup will likely strengthen. Na has a batting average of 0.315 (1,591 hits in 5044 times at bat) with 251 homers, 984 RBIs and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 0.923 in total in 1,283 games. As he is a card that can strengthen the batting lineup, synergy with other players who are displaying strong batting performance is also expected.

Coach Lee said, “When (B) Sung-beom returns, I think there will be only a difference between (Kim) Do-young in No. 2 or No. 3. The synergy of putting Sung-beom and Do-young together is considerable, so I think the batters should think about it.”

Kia has displayed the strongest offense capability in 29 games this season. It ranks first in major offensive indicators, including team batting average (301 hits in 1022 times at bat) and RBIs (165 RBIs). On top of that, the mound is also stable as it ranks second in the team’s ERA at 3.63. He is solidly maintaining his lead position with good teamwork of pitching and hitting.

With the return of Na Sung-bum, KIA will be able to acquire the complete form it had envisioned before the season. Will the addition of Na Sung-bum, the “great tiger” be able to make the team even stronger? A lot of attention is being paid to Kia, which ranks first.

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