There is no NC All-Star best, but he sent Home Run Derby through a fan vote of “National University Catcher.” “I’m grateful, I won’t be embarrassed.”

Kim Hyung-joon (25, NC Dinos), a “national catcher” who received an invitation to the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby for the first time in seven seasons since his professional debut, thanked his fans.

Kim Hyung-joon met with Star News at Changwon NC Park, his home stadium, on the 29th and said, “Honestly, I didn’t expect it, but thanks to the fans’ interest and voting, I’m so grateful to those who voted.”유흥알바

Earlier on the 24th, Kim Hyung-joon could be found on the list of 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO All-Star Game coach recommendations announced by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). He is a member of Nanum All-Star (LG, NC, KIA, Hanwha and Kiwoom), led by LG Twins manager Yeom Kyung-yeop, and will play in the All-Star Game at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on July 6.

This marks Kim’s first appearance at a star festival since his professional debut in 2018. “I didn’t think I would appear at an All Star match, and I was happy when I heard about it,” Kim said. “It was an honor to be able to go to such an event.”

In fact, Kim already has similar experiences. I remember playing at the KBO Futures All-Star Game held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul in 2022 when I was a member of the Sangmu Baseball Team. “I thought it would be fun. I didn’t have any other thoughts, and I just said, ‘Let’s just enjoy it.'” Still, the first team All-Star game would be different, but he said, “It will be different. I will have more fun than anything else.”

Being named an All-Star means that he has been recognized as a player who represents the league. As of Tuesday, he played in 67 games this season, recording a batting average of 0.217 (46 hits in 212 times at bat), 12 homers, 34 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.757. Although his batting average is low, he has displayed remarkable batting productivity based on his ability to hit first-base hits and get on-base hits. He also ranked first among catchers who played more than 300 innings in defense, recording 33.9 percent of the rate of blocking stolen bases (39 attempts, 20 jersey). He played in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games last year.

People around him are also complimenting him. “He is a very good catcher. He is soft and has great potential. He has a good mechanism that is as good as a starting member of the national team,” said Kang Min-ho (39) of the “Living Legend.” KT Wiz coach Lee Kang-chul (58) also said, “(Songgu) is really good. He is a really cool catcher. He throws the high ball to the high ball and the side ball to the same ball.”

“I am proud of myself in that area,” Kim said in a nod. “I still lack skills, so I think I will have a goal to do better and become the best 12,” he said, showing his lack of satisfaction.

Is there anything to prepare for an event or seek a title at the All-Star Game that will take place for the first time? Kim Hyung-joon shook his head. “I don’t think I’m going to do it. I’ll do everything in front of you,” Kim said. “I’m going to enjoy it because it’s my first time participating in the MVP. I’m sure there will be many things to see,” Kim said.

Kim Hyung-joon’s batting. /Photo = Courtesy of NC Dinos
With his participation in the All-Star Game, Kim had yet another honor. That is why he participated in the Com2uS professional baseball home run derby. In a two-day fan vote on home run derby players on the KBO All-Star website and the KBO’s official APP, Kim garnered 10,16 votes to rank among the top eight players. As a result, he qualified for home run derby on All-Star Friday (July 5).

NC didn’t get any fan votes for this All Star game. As a result, fans proactively supported Kim Hyung-joon, the home run derby candidate, and finally garnered enough votes to participate.

“I didn’t expect it, but the fans voted hard,” Kim Hyung-joon said. “My goal is to have that grateful heart and not be embarrassed in Home Run Derby.” “I have some power, and the stadium is short,” he said. “I’m going to play comfortably because I don’t think I should be nervous.”

The first half of the season is coming to an end. “I’m learning every day,” said Kim Hyung-joon, who has looked back on the half of the season. “I’m learning everything every day, but I’m under stress because the results are worse than I thought and things aren’t going as well,” he confessed. “I’m trying to admit and put down myself and make up for my shortcomings,” he said, as senior players such as captain Son Ah-seop, Park Gun-woo and Lee Yong-chan give advice to “do as you have done since you are doing well enough.”

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