It is a reality that it is difficult to expect offensive power in the 2023 season KIA Tigers catcher position. In addition, when Kim Do-young, Na Seong-beom, and Kim Sun-bin fall into it, the hole looks exceptionally bigger.
Realistic numbers also revealed the hole. During the five games after the opening, not a single hit was made by the KIA catcher. Han Seung-taek played in 5 games and had no hits in 7 at-bats, while Joo Hyo-sang played in 3 games and had no hits in 5 at-bats. In particular, the scene where Han Seung-taek missed the opportunity to load bases with two outs at the end of the 8th inning against the Doosan Bears in Gwangju on April 9 was the most painful.
As a result, during the opening five games, the KIA catcher’s at-bat became a place for the opposing pitcher to rest. It’s never a good picture in the long run.
It is a natural dream of every team to have a catcher who can play both offense and defense. Last winter, Doosan poured 15.2 billion won (Yang Eui-ji), Lotte Giants 8 billion won (Yoo Kang-nam), and LG Twins 6.5 billion won (Park Dong-won) into the catcher FA market for a reason.
On the other hand, KIA, who finished the FA market empty-handed last winter, has been thinking over the position of the master of the house this season. I also hit the catcher trade market, but in the end, the trade partner and the appropriate card did not match.
Because of this failure to reinforce the catcher, more attention was paid to the internal competition of the hostess, which started from camp. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk brought a total of four catchers to the spring camp ahead of this season. Among the catchers during the camp, Joo Hyo-sang received the best rating in batting.
However, it was not easy for Joo Hyo-sang to immediately surpass Han Seung-taek, considering his first-team experience and overall defensive ability. In the end, Han Seung-taek, who has worked with KIA pitchers for a long time and shows a stable defense overall, took the lead in the competition for the starting pitcher.
Of course, Han Seung-taek has been deeply concerned about his hitting weaknesses every year. He also worked with batting coach Lee Beom-ho, who had been watching him for a long time, and modified his hitting mechanism for a long time. Since it is not easy to suddenly increase hitting power, Han Seung-taek decided to focus on team batting and strategy rather than excessive greed.
Han Seung-taek, whom I met at the camp, said, “I have no choice but to admit that my ability to hit 20 or 30 home runs in a season is not as good as my senior catchers (Kang) Min-ho hyung, (Yang) Eui-ji hyung, and (Park) Dong-won hyung. does not exist. I try to focus on team betting and strategy that can help the team as much as possible rather than being greedy in such areas. If I do that, I think my individual hitting numbers will improve and my confidence will rise.”
Above all, Han Seung-taek is by no means a catcher with no hitting potential. Han Seung-taek played in 83 games in the 2020 season and had a batting average of 0.226 / 51 hits / 9 homers / 29 RBIs / on-base percentage of 0.308 / slugging percentage of 0.372, and had a career-high batting season. At the time, he was aiming for a double-digit home run for the season, and he is not lacking in batting quality. He is a player with a batting average of 20% in the middle and late stages, 10 homers, and good team batting.
However, if Han Seung-taek’s sluggish hitting at the beginning of the season is prolonged, the proportion of Joo Hyo-sang will naturally increase. In defense, his weakness was Ju Hyo-sang’s stealing. In the aftermath of the recent elbow surgery, if Joo Hyo-sang brushes it off and shows a scene that complements the stealing jersey,먹튀검증 he can be given more opportunities to play. As it is a young catcher resource that has been exchanged for a rookie nomination 2nd round card, it is a KIA atmosphere that has no choice but to try the Joo Hyo-sang card first rather than other alternatives.
It is a great luxury in the current KIA reality to want the catcher’s hitting ability to be overwhelming enough to be placed in the center line. Still, I can’t helplessly withdraw from every catcher’s at-bat every day. You have to hit enough to break the catcher’s batting average of ‘0’ as soon as possible and struggle. Han Seung-taek and Joo Hyo-sang still have 139 games left to break the prejudice against KIA catchers.