Why did Kiwoom Heroes join hands with Edison Russell again?
When Kiwoom, who broke up with Yasiel Puig, re-recruited Russell, a question mark followed. He is a player who has already received a ‘failure point’. Joining Kiwoom as a substitute for Taylor Motor in the 2020 season, he had a batting average of 2.54, 2 homers, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.653 in 65 games. Aside from the blows expected from foreign players, he was ‘below average’ in defense, missing ordinary ground balls or making mistakes in throwing. Exiting after the season was a natural step. Kiwoom’s choice to bring back Russell was bound to be questioned.
Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki said in a phone call with Sports Chosun on the 9th, “I expect (from Russell) an offensive power comparable to Puig.” 스포츠토토
There are reasons for hope. After leaving Korea, Russell succeeded in rebounding in Mexico. Russell, who entered the Mexican League in 2021, took a batting average of 3019, 8 home runs, and an OPS of 0.900 in 66 games. Last year, he played 80 games with a batting average of 3.4, 8, 24 homers, and an OPS of 1.120.
Kiwoom saw that the reason for Russell’s failure was the specificity of the Corona 19 season. After going through a long self-isolation, the time to adapt to the league was not enough. We expect that Russell will show a good figure if he improves his condition by accompanying him from the spring camp. Manager Hong, who watched Russell as the head coach in the 2020 season, looked back and said, “He clearly had good skills. There were not a few difficulties in adapting to the KBO league.”
The view that Russell can add strength even at shortstop. Kiwoom was unable to overcome his defensive anxiety in the Korean Series last year. Kim Hui-jip (21) and Shin Jun-woo (22) were alternately put in as shortstop, but the infield, shaken by an error, eventually returned to the runner-up score. Manager Hong said, “Last year, there was something lacking in the Korean Series. In baseball, the center line defense is the most important. I hope (Russell) will play a central role by forming a keystone with Kim Hye-seong (24) as a shortstop.” revealed Kiwoom seems to draw a strong center line from catcher Lee Ji-young (37) to Russell-Kim Hye-sung Keystone and center fielder Lee Jung-hoo (25).
Attention is focusing on whether Russell’s KBO league luck, which failed to renew the contract after sluggishness, will succeed.