“Second base is still awkward, but…” Kim Do-young fills Kim Sun-bin’s void, but KIA infield all-weather card

“If there is a vacancy, Do-young should fill it.”

KIA’s top infield prospect Kim Do-young (20) started at second base in the Futures League game against Lotte’s second team at Hampyeong-Kia Challengers Field on April 21. It was Kim’s first time playing second base in the professional game between the first and second teams.

In the fourth inning, with runners on first and second, Kim caught Bae Young-bin’s grounder and threw to shortstop Hong Jong-pyo, who was covering second base, to force out the runner at first, but there was a pause. It wasn’t a natural move for a second baseman.메이저사이트

In five innings of work, that was the only out. Kia head coach Kim Jong-guk also watched Kim Do-young’s play at second base on the broadcast screen. “I think it’s a little awkward because I haven’t played second base for a while,” he said with a smile before the game against Hanwha in Daejeon on Nov. 21.

“At the beginning of the season, I thought of Do-young as a starter, but now I have to think of him as a backup. If there’s an opening in another position, he has to fill it. At third base, (Ryu) Ji-hyuk is doing well, so Do-young will prepare for second base as well.”

Kim was a once-in-a-decade “five-tool player” shortstop at Gwangju Dongseong High School, where he beat out fellow local fireballer Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha) for the first pick in the KIA draft. However, since entering the professional ranks, Kim has played more at third base than shortstop.

Last year, he played 69 games (44 starts) and 407 innings at third base, and 28 games (16 starts) and 160⅔ innings at shortstop. Since 2020, Park Chan-ho has been KIA’s starting shortstop, while Kim Do-young has played a higher percentage of games at third base from the start. He started the first two games of the year at third base, but suffered an injury in the second game when he broke his left pinky toe while turning after stepping on third base.

[OSEN=Incheon, Min Kyung-hoon] KIA’s Kim Do-young hits a single to left center field. 2023.04.02 / rumi@osen.co.kr

[OSEN=Seok-woo Seok] KIA Kim Sun-bin hits a single to left center field. 2023.06.03 / foto0307@osen.co.kr

Kim Do-young, who has been playing in the Futures League since June 20 after more than two and a half months of rehabilitation, has been switching between third base on the first day and second base on the second day. Kim emerged as one of the replacements after main second baseman Kim Sun-bin was diagnosed with a fractured right thumb in the Gwangju NC game on April 17. Kim will undergo four weeks of stabilization and rehabilitation. After two weeks, he will be examined again to determine a specific timetable for his return.

With Kim expected to be out for about a month, Kim Jong-kook sees potential in second baseman Kim Do-young. Although his movements are still awkward, he has a good sense as an infielder, so it is expected that it will only be a matter of time before he adapts to the second base. Until Kim Sun-bin returns, Kim Do-young could form a keystone pairing with shortstop Park Chan-ho.

Of course, he will have to compete with existing second base resources Kim Kyu-sung and Choi Jeong-yong. “For the time being, Kim Kyu-sung and Choi Jeong-yong will share the second base. It may change when Kim Do-young joins the team, but he has to come to the first team and do well. We can’t play if we can’t. If Kim Kyu-sung or Choi Jeong-yong does well, they will continue to play,” he said, emphasizing competition. Just because he’s a top prospect doesn’t mean he’ll be given a spot.

KIA has had to fill the void in the outfield this season with Lee Woo-sung, Lee Chang-jin, and Ko Jong-wook playing while Na Sung-beom was sidelined with a calf muscle injury. “When there is a vacancy, another player will definitely step up,” Kim said. The main players must also be nervous and take good care of their bodies,” Kim ordered.

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