Even though he led the NC Dinos to victory by swinging a fire bat, Kim Hyeong-jun only wanted to improve further.
Kim Hyung-jun started as the 8th hitter and catcher in the away game against the Samsung Lions in the 2023 Professional Baseball KBO League held at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on the 1st.토토사이트
From the beginning of the game, Kim Hyung-jun’s bat was spinning fiercely. In the top of the second inning, when NC was ahead 3-0, he appeared as the lead hitter and hit the opposing left-handed starting pitcher Choi Chae-heung’s three-pitch 135 km fastball, drawing a left-handed solo arch with a distance of 125 m.
Kim Hyeong-jun, who took a moment to catch his breath with a fly to center field in the top of the 4th inning, showed his presence again in the top of the 6th inning when NC was still leading 4-0. In a situation where there was no runner with one out, he battled with Woo Gyu-min, a right-handed sidearm bullpen resource from Samsung, all the way to the 7th pitch, and then attacked the 119km curve and hit a double that split the left-center field. He then hit home on Park Min-woo’s RBI single to left, scoring his second score of the day.
Kim Hyeong-jun, who gained momentum, swung the bat sharply in the top of the 8th inning when NC solidified their victory with 5-0. He appeared as the leadoff hitter and pushed the opponent’s right-handed reliever Kim Si-hyeon’s 2-pitch 128km fork, firing a solo shot that went over the right fence. The distance was 115m, and it was the moment when the fourth gun of the season was released. Afterwards, in his last at-bat in the top of the 9th inning, he grounded out to third base, and as soon as the defense began in the bottom of the 9th, he was replaced by Dae-on Park and ended the game.
Final performance was 3 hits in 5 at-bats, 2 home runs, 2 RBIs, and 3 runs scored. Thanks to Kim Hyeong-jun’s performance, NC defeated Samsung 10-0. As a result, NC, which shook off the disappointment of the 3-13 loss suffered in the Gwangju KIA Tigers match the previous day (August 31), recorded 56 wins, 2 draws, and 50 losses, firmly maintaining its 4th place.
After the game, Kim Hyeong-jun smiled brightly and said, “I was disappointed because we lost badly yesterday, but I feel good because we won today.”
In this game, Kim Hyung-jun, who wore a catcher’s mask from the first inning, led the NC pitchers’ good pitching with a stable lead until he was replaced by Park Dae-on in the bottom of the ninth. In particular, left-hander Tanner Turley, who recently joined NC as a replacement for Taylor Widener (Samsung), showed off his best pitching since his KBO League debut, allowing 1 hit, 2 walks, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, and no runs in 6 innings.
Kim Hyeong-jun nodded, saying, “Today was my first time working with Tanner, and I tried to utilize Tanner’s strengths as much as possible.” He added, “I think the fact that I played the game by combining the data from the power analysis led to a good result.”
Kim Hyeong-jun, who was nominated by NC as the 9th overall pick in the 2nd 1st round in 2018, completed his military service in Sangmu in 2021-2022. Until last year, his overall performance in the professional first team was 159 games played, a batting average of 0.227 (22 hits in 260 at-bats), 5 home runs, 22 RBI, and a slugging percentage of 0.312.
However, he has suffered from frequent injuries recently. I underwent surgery for a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in August last year, just before I was discharged. He returned in May, but suffered another hiatus after stepping on a ball during training at the end of that month and damaging his right ankle ligaments.
However, Kim Hyung-jun did not give up despite these trials. After returning from injury in July, he swung a bat in the Futures (Second Division) League. At the time, NC C Team (NC Futures Team) coach Gong Pil-seong and the coaching staff worked hard to revive him.
As a result, Kim Hyung-jun was registered as a first-team entry on the 23rd of last month, and has been hitting hard every day. Kim Hyeong-jun’s performance is very welcome news for NC in the current situation where all catchers, including Park Se-hyuk (left wrist tendinitis) and Ahn Jung-yeol (right adductor damage), are missing due to injuries.
Kim Hyeong-jun said, “Ever since I was at Futures, C team coach Gong Pil-seong encouraged me to take my swing as much as possible even if I struck out, which was a big help in maintaining a good hitting feel.” He added, “After coming to the N team (NC 1st team), I Song Ji-man and hitting coach Jeon Min-soo also helped a lot,” he said, expressing his gratitude.
Although Kim Hyeong-jun is showing off his presence in the first team, he also expressed his desire to develop further.
“I think there is still a lack of analysis of the opposing hitters due to the long hiatus from the first team. “I plan to study harder in the future.” Those were Kim Hyeong-jun’s words.
Lastly, he bowed his head and said, “I am grateful to the fans who always support me,” and “I would like to say thank you to manager (Gong Pil-seong), coaches, and trainers who gave me great help during the Futures League.”
Meanwhile, Kim Hyeong-jun’s hard hit that day is great news for the Korean national baseball team, which will play in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games in early October (the competition opens on September 23). On June 9, when he was in the midst of rehabilitation, coach Ryu Joong-il recognized Kim Hyeong-jun’s abilities and selected him as the final entry for the national team. In particular, considering that the catcher selected together with him is Kim Dong-heon (Kiwoom Heroes), who does not have much experience, it is highly likely that Kim Hyung-jun will play a starting role in Hangzhou.