The first team is a dream stage, I really want to experience it this year”…The bold aspirations of NC’s big gun outfield prospects who are bombing Futures

“For me, the first team is a dream stage. I really want to experience the first team games this year.”

Kim Bum-joon, who is bombing the Futures (second division) league this season, wanted to see him on the first division stage.안전놀이터

Kim Bum-joon, a native of Jeil Middle School and Daegu High School, is a right-handed outfielder who was called by NC with the 47th overall in the second and fifth rounds in 2019. Although he has not yet made his debut in the first division, he is drawing a lot of expectations for his cheerful slugging. He has a batting average of 0.279 (187 hits in 670 times at bat) and 122 RBIs in 229 games in the Futures (second division) league so far this year (as of the 10th), and has completed his military service as a social service worker between 2021 and 2022.

In particular, Kim is conquering the Futures League with his remarkable skills this season. His current performance is 0.294 (45 hits in 153 times at bat) with seven homers and 37 RBIs with OPS (on-base plus slugging) with 0.888 in 45 games. More than anything, although he still has fewer samples, he has improved in contact area (0.275·60 hits in 218 times at bat last year) compared to last year.

“Last winter, when I joined the national team (2023 Asian Baseball Championship), I injured my abdominal muscles just before I left the country. I only received treatment and couldn’t exercise for about a month. I started exercising gradually from January through weight training. When I entered the spring camp, I thought with my batting coach (Cho Young-hoon) about how I could improve my contact skills,” he said. “He told me a lot of know-how that contacting is important in terms of technology.” As I prepared so well for the spring camp, I got good results from the first game. I started the season with confidence. I think I got a good result because I was lucky enough to follow my luck,” he said with a bright smile.

On April 19, the match against the KIA Tigers in Masan, Futures, became the best game of his baseball career to date. In the game, Kim Bum-joon led NC to a 5-1 victory by firing a walk-off grand slam over the right-center fence in the bottom of the 10th inning when the two teams were tied 1-1. Despite the push, the scene showed his ability to produce long shots that were hot enough to cross the fence with a line drive.

Looking back on the situation, Kim said, “The bases were loaded with one out. I only needed one run, so I thought about making a fly or a hit that went over the center fielder’s height. It was windy, however. The moment the ball hit the grandstand, I got goosebumps. It was the first finishing homerun in my life,” he said with a smile.

“I’ve had a lot of missed hits this year. When I hit a home run, I had more tailwinds than headwinds. I think I’m lucky,” he added.

He said he was lucky, but it is hard to say that Kim Bum-joon’s good performance this year is simply lucky. It is the result of his own sweat added along with his natural physical conditions.

“My father was physically strong and strong. Thanks to him, I grew up a lot since I was young,” Kim said. “After I started playing baseball in earnest, I started weight training hard. Even after I came as a pro, I worked hard under a systematic system,” he said. “I tried to take batting timing forward ahead of this season. As a result, I hit more and more home runs than ever before.”

“I think my contact and slugging skills have improved this year compared to last year. Both batting average and slugging percentage have improved compared to last year. I have confidence that I can hit far away anytime,” he said.

Of course, there are things that need to be supplemented. In particular, in order to play in the primary league, the team should display more stable outfield defense.

Kim Bum-joon also said, “I need to improve my defense. I want to be evaluated as more stable by others. I think it will get better as I am practicing a lot,” adding, “Coaches Kim Jong-ho and Yoon Byung-ho are leading the way to help me. Rather than criticizing bad plays or mistakes, they tell me how to prevent such plays from occurring. They also give me a lot of thought and teach me well. I am playing with more confidence thanks to the help of the two. He is improving a lot compared to the beginning of the season.”

His role model is Park Seok-min, who had a retirement ceremony on April 11. Having joined the pro league in 2004, Park is an infielder with a batting average of 0.287 (1,537 hits in 5363 times at bat), 269 homers, 1041 RBIs and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 0.893 in 1,697 games so far last year.

“Park Seok-min has been my role model since I joined (NC). He was also a senior at Daegu High School. He said a lot of good things. His mind itself is good at baseball. He is cheerful and does not hesitate at all. He always swung boldly and confidently. People may think he is joking, but he expressed his own abilities in it. I want to learn a lot about that. (Park) Seok-min also explained that well,” he said. “As far as I know, I am retiring now and getting training as a coach. If I have a chance, I would like to face him as a coach-to-player, not as a player-to-player.”

The performance of Roh Si-hwan (Hanwha Eagles), who joined the professional league, gives Kim Bum-joon a great motivation. Roh hit 0.298 (153 hits in 514 times at bat) 31 homers and 101 RBIs last year, sweeping the home run and RBI top, emerging as a representative hitter in the KBO League.

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