The main character who hit the KBO league exhibition game last year was KIA Tigers rookie infielder Kim Do-young (20).
As soon as he first broke into the professional stage, he was very active with a batting average of 0.432, 19 hits, 2 home runs, 3 stolen bases and 5 RBIs in 12 exhibition games, and even earned the nickname ‘Super Rookie’.
But the professional world was harsh.
He scrambled as the number one hitter in the opening game with praise as ‘the second Lee Jong-beom’, but struggled throughout the first half and only had a batting average of 0.220.
After moving to a backup infielder in the second half, he showed potential with a batting average of 0.283, and finished his first year as a pro with a batting average of 0.237 for the season.
Kim Do-young, who I met at Incheon International Airport on the 30th before leaving for Tucson, Arizona, USA, the site of the KIA team’s spring camp, confessed, “Honestly, the record was good in the demonstration game last year, but I felt that (scores) were declining as I went.”
Kim Do-young’s high batting average in demonstration games is the result of a combination of skill and luck.
Kim Do-young’s batting average (BABIP) in play during the demonstration game was 0.486, much higher than his regular season BABIP (0.313).
It can be interpreted that the quality of his batted balls was good in the demonstration game, but the number of hits he gave was not small due to his luck.
In this respect, Kim Do-young’s anxiety was tangible.
But he is different this year.
Although he has just taken his first step towards the 2023 season, he is light-hearted enough to say, “I am more confident this year than last year. I think it will be fun and I am excited.”
It is because of the expectation that his trial and error can be reduced thanks to identifying the cause of his sluggish performance at the beginning of last season.
Kim Do-young said, “It is true that I had a hard time changing my batting form last year. However, it is positive that I maintained my batting form in the second half.” said
He also learned that stamina is essential to sustaining the long race of 144 races in the regular season.
To this end, Kim Do-young, who focused on improving her physical strength and combined Pilates to add flexibility, explained, “I found my body’s weak points and did a lot of necessary exercises.”
Thanks to last year’s demonstration game sensation, he started the season as a starting player, but this year he has to overcome the competition.
The strong position is third base, which is competing with Ryu Ji-hyeok (29).
Kim Do-young said, “Last year, I received many opportunities in the beginning, but I couldn’t save them. If I get an opportunity this year, I will make sure to grab it.”
Another reason why the early grades of this season are important to Kim Do-young is the Hangzhou Asian Games. 안전놀이터
If he shows an impressive appearance from the beginning of the season, he can expect to be on board.