The word that KIA coach Kim Jong-guk used most often against reporters at the last Arizona and Okinawa camps was none other than ‘depth’. This word, which can be translated to the level of players, has been the KIA’s biggest topic since right after the end of last season.
KIA successfully returned to the postseason by finishing 5th in the regular season last year. Of course, if you go into details, it’s a season with a lot of regrets left, but considering that the team was in ninth place the previous season, it was not a bad performance overall. However, we cannot be satisfied here. I felt desperately that it was essential to strengthen the player base in order to look at the ranking of 5th place or higher.메이저사이트
Looking back at the 144-game long race, at least 40 to 45 players in the first team are used. The main players can’t go out every time, and there are injuries, so players other than 28 have to play an active part in the element. As for KIA, that was weak. It was the biggest difference from the top teams. Following the recruitment of Byun Woo-hyuk and Joo Hyo-sang through a trade, great efforts were put into the growth of existing players.
If so, how much better has KIA’s ‘depth’ improved? It will be known when the season opens and the lid is opened, but theoretically, it is stronger than last year, and it gives the feeling that the player base is crowded. Except for the catcher position, which has been weakened by Park Dong-won’s transfer, there are more things to look forward to in the rest.
A special rookie named Yoon Young-chul joined the starting lineup, which consisted of relatively constant players. Although he is not fast with the ball, he has advantages in pitching form and control, such as hiding, and is proving in demonstration games that he is a player who knows how to deal with batters. The two foreign players are also receiving passing marks for their pitches. If the three players perform as expected in the starting lineup, it is possible to envision a stable rotation for the KIA, which has Yang Hyeon-jong, Lee Eui-ri, and Lim Ki-young.
As expected, the bullpen has become stronger on the left side. In addition to Kim Dae-yu, who was received as a reward player for Park Dong-won, and Kim Ki-hoon, who performed impressively after being discharged from the military last year, even young players such as Choi Ji-min and Kwak Do-gyu received attention as they grew up. In Pil Seung-jo, it was completely different from last year, when Lee Joon-young lasted alone. However, it is not that there is a big power leak on the right-hander side, so it should be seen that the depth of the bullpen has definitely improved. There are many cards that can be used.
On the fielder side, competition intensified as a ‘catfish’ named Byeon Woo-hyeok appeared in the infield and a top-class prospect named Kim Do-young showed a steep growth trend. Hwang Dae-in Ryu Ji-hyeok, who was treated as the first and third baseman last year, is in a position to be nervous. The growth of Kim Kyu-sung, who has improved his hitting, can also be a positive aspect in strengthening the backup layer. In the outfield, if not right now, Choi Won-joon, the most promising player, will come in from June. The reinforcing effect will be greater in that it is a force that did not exist last year.
The newly emerged or developed powers are the players that coach Kim has seen steadily since the camp. In other words, at this point, it means that we are already finishing the calculations on where and when to write. Even if it’s not the opening game right away, we’ve had a spring enough to enter the season plan, and if so, there is a possibility that KIA’s history and performance will be more stable than last year.