The ‘gunless’ hero corps… Who will take on the 4th heavy duty in the 2023 season?
Geopo disappeared in the Kiwoom Heroes batting line. Who will be the number 4 hitter who will take over the center of the offense?
Kiwoom has had a leak of Geopo over the past two years. Park Byung-ho (37, kt Wiz) transferred as a free agent (FA) after the 2021 season. Ahead of this season, Yasiel Puig (33), who recorded 21 homers and a slugging percentage of 0.474 last year, left the team. Since the big guns who can hit the center line are vacant, there is a natural interest in who will fill the void.
Looking back on last season, Kim Hye-seong (24) emerges as a strong candidate.
Kim Hye-seong got the most number of at-bats in the 4th after Puig and displayed a remarkable performance with a batting average of 0.315 (34 hits in 108 at-bats) and 13 RBIs. Although he didn’t have the home run expected from the 4th hitter, he did his part as a link between Lee Jung-hoo and the mid-lower batting line by striking out long hits such as doubles and triples.
There is also a new foreign hitter, Edison Russell (29). Russell has experience wearing a Kiwoom uniform as a substitute foreign player in the 2020 season.
Russell experienced various batting lines from 3 to 7, and among them, 4 came out the most. He had a batting average of 0.261 (18-for-69) with 6 RBI. However, Russell’s main position is shortstop, which has a lot of defensive burden. The key is whether the club will use Russell in a position where he can be burdened in both defense and offense.
Recalling the 2020 season, there was also a case where Lee Jung-hoo was in charge of number 4 depending on Russell’s batting order. Lee Jung-hoo has the most experience as the number 4 hitter after his debut due to Russell’s sluggish batting.
Like Lee Jung-hoo, the batting order was not a big problem. He has a career batting average of 0.394 (63 hits in 160 at-bats) with one home run and 36 RBI as the fourth hitter. Also, his slugging power improved significantly last year. He hit 23 home runs, hitting the 20-home run mark for the first time since his debut, and his slugging percentage of 0.575 ranked first in the entire league. As he is the strongest hitter in the league beyond the team, he also has the potential to take on number 4.
In the long term, there is Park Ju-hong (24), who has been dispatched to Geelong Korea in the Australian Professional Baseball League (ABL). Park Joo-hong achieved results in Geelong. At one point, he raised his batting average to 0.364, and also hit 3 homers and a slugging percentage of 40%. After that, he slowed down a bit, and the final result was a batting average of 0.229 (19 hits in 83 at-bats), but long hits, including 5 doubles and 1 triple, exploded, recording a slugging average of 0.422.
Unlike previous years, Kiwoom really doesn’t have big guns. But he has plenty of cards to fill the spot. It seems that it will be another point of interest to see who will take over the main lineup for Kiwoom in the upcoming season. 안전놀이터