“I have to take over as shortstop in the future”.
One of the points to watch at the KIA Tigers’ Arizona spring camp is whether or not Kim Do-yeong (19), a second-year player, will make a leap forward. Last year, he ranked first in batting average in the exhibition game, receiving a lot of attention and even hearing the voice of a ‘genius rookie’. In the midst of a full crowd, he played as the leadoff in the opening game, but was humiliated without a hit. Eventually, he was pushed back to backup man after only one month.
Director Kim Jong-guk continued to use him as a backup man. His feet are fast, his running ability is excellent, and his defense is gradually gaining a sense of stability. He gave a chance to play as a large runner and large defense. He even put his name in the starting lineup on occasion. He never missed out on a first-team entry. His hitting is also starting to show some adaptability. The 2023 annual salary also rose from 30 million won to 50 million won.
He has yet to take off his backup tag. The starting pitcher at third base is Ryu Ji-hyeok. His trade transfer student Byun Woo-hyuk was added, and the competition intensified. Coach Kim said he would use him as a third baseman and shortstop. At the same time, he expected, “When Kim Do-young becomes the main third baseman, it becomes a plus in many ways. 안전놀이터
There is another reason for ordering Kim Do-young to become the starting player. He is a representative of the Asian Games. If it is a backup like last year, the Taegeuk mark is a sense of unwillingness. It is hoped that if he improves his batting ability and becomes a starting player, he will be nominated for the national team leadoff position. Manager Kim laughed, saying, “That’s why Doyoung has to do well this year. The postponement of last year’s Asian Games is a big opportunity for Doyoung.”
Director Kim went one step further. It is a long term plan. He said, “I will use Doyoung as the third baseman for the time being, but he will have to play the shortstop in the future.” It means that the team will become stronger when he takes over as shortstop someday. This is a sketch of the infield in preparation for the successor of Kim Seon-bin, who turns 34 this year. When Kim Do-young plays shortstop, Park Chan-ho moves to second base. The 1st and 3rd base corner infields are a dream infield lined with giants such as Hwang Dae-in and Byeon Woo-hyuk.
To that extent, Doyoung Kim’s potential is limitless. It is the best scenario if he jumps up and becomes the main character according to the director’s sketch. It creates a tremendous synergistic effect throughout the team’s airlift. His debut season was nothing short of yongdusami. He will be in a different mindset when he arrives at Arizona spring camp. If Kim Do-young’s second season is prosperous, KIA can become a strong player.