“I wish I could have learnt from Kim Sang-soo.”
In the KT Wiz batting line-up, which has experienced extreme ups and downs this season, there is a player who consistently receives praise from the manager. It’s veteran transfer Kim Sang-soo (33). “He’s a player who can bat in any order and hit in any situation,” said KT manager Lee Kang-cheol.
Despite being a newcomer, Kim has become an integral part of the team in less than two months. Out of KT’s 44 games, Kim has played in 43 of them, the most of any KT outfielder. In the midst of an injury-riddled outfield, Kim has consistently played without any major injuries or absences, and as a key starting shortstop, he has anchored the team’s centre field and infield defence.
Sang-soo Kim has also been a top performer offensively. Currently, Kim is batting .290 (42-for-145) with 17 RBIs and a combined on-base percentage (.366) and slugging percentage (.345) for an OPS of 0.711, which ranks second on the team in batting average and second in slugging percentage. His 0.842 strikeout-to-walk ratio is also first on the team (16th in the league). It’s a great start to 2020.
However, Kim’s true talent is not just in his stats. He has also been praised for his team batting. He’s been batting second and ninth in the order this season, playing more of a facilitator and a bridge than a solution. His batting strategy varies depending on the situation with runners on base and the ball count, and his ability to hit for the team is something that his manager has praised.
“Kim Sang-soo is a player who knows when to hit and when to wait. For example, when the leadoff hitter is out, he knows how to wait even in favourable counts. He doesn’t get greedy (to solve it), he just gets on base and creates opportunities for the batters behind him. He counts the pitcher’s pitches, and he knows the flow of the game.”스포츠토토
Lee added, “Kim Sang-soo is a player who knows what role he should play in the team and what kind of player he is. I think it’s a sign of age,” he said, adding, “I hope (the players) can learn from him.” He also gave a thumbs-up. Kim Sang-soo has become the team’s “belly button,” not only in defence but also in offence.
In his last 10 games, Kim is batting .385 (15-for-39) with six RBIs. Most notably, he went 1-for-3 against Samsung on the 27th in his hometown of Daegu, South Korea, to lead the team to their fourth straight win. As his batting cycle has improved, his future performance is expected to be even better. With Bok-poong Kim Sang-soo as the fulcrum of their four-game winning streak, it will be interesting to see if KT can continue their rebound in the rest of May and make the leap to the mid-table.