30-year-old outfielder’s ‘long-hitting instinct’

It was natural that NC Dinos manager Kang In-kwon paid attention to right-handed outfielder Kim Sung-wook (31). This is because he has the best defense capability in the outfield. Last year, the initial plan was to form an outfield with Kim Sung-wook and Park Kun-woo, who returned from military service, and Jason Martin, a foreign hitter.

However, Kim recorded a batting average of 0.223 with 16 homers and 28 RBIs in 93 games last year. He was lagging behind Kwon Hee-dong, who belatedly signed an FA contract and failed to play at the Tucson spring camp in Arizona, the U.S. In reality, since Martin and Park Kun-woo are players that have to be deployed no matter what, Kim did not have a place.

Once again this year, Kim Seong-wook had a chance. It is a good news that Matt Davidson, a foreign slugger, appeared. In other words, the outfield had to be completely filled with domestic players. Manager Kang easily finished his outfield plans with left fielder Kwon Hee-dong, center fielder Kim Seong-wook and right fielder Park Kun-woo. After Son A-seop swept the award ceremony at the end of last year, he said he wanted to receive a golden glove for outfielders this year, and asked manager Kang to increase the proportion of outfielders, but he chose the reality.

Kim only posted a batting average of 0.245. Since joining the team in 2012 after graduating from Jinheung High School, he has never posted a stipulated batting average of 0.300. He is not very accurate. However, despite his relatively slender physique, he has one step and two lengths to hit. In 2016 and 2018, he hit 15 and 13 home runs.

Since then, he has not hit double-digit home runs again. However, his instinct to hit long balls is wiggling once again this season when he constantly enters the batter’s box as a starting member. Despite the limited number of samples, he hit two home runs in eight games this season and has a slugging percentage of 0.517. In the match against the Kiwoom Heroes in Changwon on March 26, he pulled out a mid-range grand slam with a flying distance of 125 meters when foreign pitcher Enmanuel de Heissus’ curveball came flat to the pitch.

The game against the LG Twins in Jamsil on Sunday was also outstanding. When LG starter Choi Won-tae’s slider at the top of the second inning was also slightly high, he lightly pulled it to score a two-run shot against the left wall of 115 meters. It was a decisive blow that gave LG its third consecutive win.

Many respondents say that ABS aims to secure one more high course from the half ball to the straight. It is important for pitchers to occupy high courses, whether it is fastball or breaking ball. However, command and control are also important to pitchers. If a pitcher throws a pitch targeting a high course and enters a high level that is easy to hit, he or she can become a prey to batters with one shot like Kim Sung-wook.

Even if Kim Sung-wook’s average is low, if he consistently displays his strong defense and hits a single shot, there is no reason for manager Kang In-kwon not to use it consistently. He expects that and uses it as the main player. Coincidentally, as soon as the batting order was lowered from No. 6 to No. 7, the home run came out. Since No. 6 Seo Ho-cheol is a teaching hitter, we can expect Kim Sung-wook to play the role of sweeping from behind.


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