KIA Tigers outfielder Seok-hwan Kim went 2-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs in the Futures League. However, there was no room for him on the September expansion roster. With the outfield depth of the first team, it’s hard to see him getting a chance 메이저사이트.
On September 1, KIA called up pitchers Park Jun-pyo and Kim Dae-yu, catcher Han Seung-taek, and infielder Hwang Dae-in. The remaining spot belongs to Lee, who will make his return from injury on Sept. 3.
KIA manager Kim Jong-kook met with the media before the game on the 1st and said, “With the implementation of the expanded roster, we strengthened the bullpen and also called up catchers and infielders. In the case of Han Seung-taek and Hwang Dae-in, we plan to use them as late-game backups.”
KIA outfielder Kim Seok-hwan did not receive a call-up to the first team when the expanded roster was implemented in September. Photo: KIA Tigers
One of the most notable names missing from the expansion roster is Kim Seok-hwan. The 1999-born left-handed hitting outfielder has been a frontrunner for a first-team call-up all season long, and has put up impressive numbers in 67 games in the Futures League, hitting .291 with 16 home runs, 61 RBI, a .390 slugging percentage, and a .555 on-base percentage.
He recently went on a five-game hitting streak in the Futures League, and has hit four home runs in that span. Most notably, on September 1 against the Samsung Lions in the Futures League, the first day of the expanded roster, Kim went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two home runs, five RBIs and two runs scored.
Batting fourth in the lineup, Kim struck out swinging in his first at-bat in the top of the second inning. Then, in his second at-bat in the top of the fourth inning, he took a four-pitch at-bat with the bases loaded against Choi Ha-neul, the opposing starter, and launched a towering 130-meter solo home run.
Kim came to the plate with runners on first and third in the top of the sixth inning and hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Then, in the top of the eighth inning, with runners on second and third and two outs, Kim took a six-pitch at-bat with a 2B-2S count against reliever Choi Chung-yeon and launched a 130-meter three-run arch over the right field wall. Kim showed off his incredible power twice on the day, hitting a 130-meter home run.
Kim didn’t get a chance in September’s expanded roster, but KIA’s ‘league-leading’ outfield depth isn’t easy to break through
Kia outfielder Seok-hwan Kim is struggling to break into the first team despite his strong performance in the Futures League. Photo: KIA Tigers
However, Kim has struggled to break into the first team this season. After being included in the opening roster, he was released four days later without playing. He received one call-up in late May, but after going 1-for-14 with a home run and two RBIs in four games, he was sent down to the Future Team.
A September call-up to the expanded roster was a possibility, but it never materialized. Kim has been playing mostly outfield defense this season. The outfield depth of the KIA first team is one of the best in Korea. Go Jong-wook, Socrates, Choi Hyung-woo, Na Sung-beom, and Choi Won-joon are all left-handed outfielders, and Lee Woo-sung and Lee Chang-jin make up the KIA outfield lineup. It’s hard to see any room for Kim Seok-hwan to break through.
On top of that, the KIA bats have been on fire lately. Riding a five-game winning streak, KIA knocked out the league’s strongest starting pitcher and “nemesis” Pedi with seven runs on August 31 against the Gwangju NC Dinos. Keeping the momentum going, the team took advantage of foreign pitcher Elias in the September 1 game against the Munhak SSG Landers, holding him to five runs in five innings. With a six-game winning streak under their belt, KIA doesn’t feel the need to make any changes to their batting lineup.
From Kim Seok-hwan’s point of view, he has no choice but to be patient and wait for a call-up opportunity that could come at any moment. It’s a matter of luck as well as skill. It will be interesting to see if Kim can dramatically show his worth in the first team at the end of the season.