KIA Tigers outfielder Kim Seok-hwan staged an armed demonstration with 2 homers and 5 RBIs in the Futures League. However, on the day of the extended entry in September, there was no seat for Kim Seok-hwan. Due to the thick first-team outfield depth situation, it is not easy for Kim Seok-hwan to seize an opportunity.
KIA called up pitchers Park Jun-pyo and Kim Dae-yu, catcher Han Seung-taek, and infielder Hwang Dae-in with the implementation of extended entry on September 1. The remaining one seat belongs to Eui-ri Lee, who is returning from injury on the 3rd.안전놀이터
KIA coach Kim Jong-guk met with reporters before the game on the 1st and said, “In line with the implementation of the expansion entry, the bullpen was reinforced and the number of catchers and infielders was raised. In the case of Han Seung-taek and Hwang Dae-in, we plan to take on a backup role in the second half of the game.”
Among the names missing from this extended entry call-up list, the player who stands out the most is Seok-Hwan Kim. Seok-Hwan Kim, born in 1999, is considered a strong candidate for a first-team call-up throughout this season as a left-handed hitter, and is recording impressive results with a batting average of 0.291/16 home runs/61 RBI/on-base percentage/0.555/slugging percentage of 0.555 in 67 Futures League games.
Seok-Hwan Kim, who has been on a hitting streak for 5 consecutive Futures League games, also hit 4 home runs during this period. In particular, in the Futures League match against the Samsung Lions on September 1, the day the extended entry was implemented, Kim Seok-hwan showed off his strength by going 2 hits in 3 at-bats, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, and 2 runs scored.
Kim Seok-hwan, who played as the designated hitter number 4 on this day, struck out with a missed swing in his first at-bat in the top of the second inning. Later, in his second at-bat in the top of the 4th inning, he attacked the 4th ball against opposing starting pitcher Choi Ha-neul with a ball count of 3B and hit a large solo home run with a distance of 130 meters.
Kim Seok-hwan came to the plate in the top of the 6th inning with 1 out and runners on 1st and 3rd base and scored an RBI with a sacrifice fly ball to right field. Later, in the top of the 8th inning, with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd base, Kim Seok-hwan attacked the 6th ball against the changed pitcher Choi Chung-yeon with a ball count of 2B-2S and drew a three-run arch with a distance of 130m. Kim Seok-hwan showed off his amazing power twice that day, hitting a large 130m home run.
Kim Seok-hwan, who did not get a chance despite the implementation of the extended entry in September, is not easy to break through the ‘top of the league’ KIA outfield depth
It is not easy for KIA outfielder Kim Seok-hwan to aim for a first-team call-up opportunity despite good performances in the Futures League. Photo = KIA Tigers
However, Kim Seok-hwan is rarely getting a chance in the first team this season. Kim Seok-hwan, who was included in the opening entry, was canceled without participating four days later. Afterwards, he received a first-team call-up opportunity at the end of May, but Kim Seok-hwan was sent down to the Futures team after only 1 hit and 2 RBIs in 14 at-bats in 4 games.
There was a possibility of a call-up during the extended entry in September, but in the end, Kim Seok-hwan’s return to the first team did not occur. Seok-Hwan Kim is mainly playing outfield defense this season. KIA’s first-team outfield depth is the strongest in the country. Left-hitting outfielders Ko Jong-wook, Socrates, Choi Hyeong-woo, Na Seong-beom, and Choi Won-jun, as well as Lee Woo-sung and Lee Chang-jin, make up the KIA outfield lineup. It is true that Kim Seok-hwan does not see any room to penetrate the gap.
Above all, the atmosphere in KIA’s batting lineup is on fire recently. KIA, who had recently won 5 games in a row, even defeated the league’s strongest starting pitcher and ‘natural enemy’ Peddie by giving up 7 runs in the game against the Gwangju NC Dinos on August 31st. Continuing the momentum, KIA attacked opposing foreign pitcher Elias in the Munhak SSG Landers match on September 1, allowing 5 runs in 5 innings. KIA, which has achieved an unstoppable 6-game winning streak, appears to have no need to change its lineup.
From Seok-Hwan Kim’s perspective, he has no choice but to wait for a call-up opportunity that may come with great patience. He must rely on his own skills and luck to seize opportunities that suddenly come his way. It is curious whether Kim Seok-hwan will be able to dramatically show his true worth in the first team at the end of this season.