The next Jamsil Big Boy? “Unofficially a 40-homer hitter in high school” Paddling in the water?

Just two weeks ago, it seemed unlikely that Kim Bum-seok, 19, LG’s first-round (seventh overall) draft pick in the 2023 KBO Draft, would be called up to the first team anytime soon. LG head coach Yeom Kyung-yup said he had “received recommendations from the coaches,” but was adamant that he didn’t deserve a spot on the roster.

It wasn’t that he didn’t recognise Kim’s skills and potential, or that he didn’t want him in the first team. The problem was the team’s lineup. Kim, who was drafted as a catcher, hadn’t played catcher yet this year. In the Futures League (second team), he played designated hitter. The first team was already full of seniors who had to take a day off as a designated hitter. I didn’t feel confident enough to play him over these proven first teamers.메이저놀이터

The right-handed batting spot was already occupied by players like Lee Jae-won and Song Chan-ui, who had been in Yeom’s plans since spring training, meaning there wasn’t much room for Kim Bum-seok due to the saturation of the roster. Plus, he’s still a rookie. I wanted him to take the process and steps rather than rush him up.

But then things took a strange turn. Lee Jae-won injured his thigh while defending and was dropped from the first team, and Song Chan-ui showed signs of insecurity in defence and was also dropped from the first team. That “spot” on the roster opened up, and Kim Bum-seok, who had been touring with the first team, was selected on 3 June.

Kim, who made a name for himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the amateur game during his time at Gyeongnam High School, has been a fan favourite this year, blowing up the Futures League. In 34 games of the Futures League season, he hit .376 with six home runs, 24 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.072. Even though it was in the Futures League, it’s hard to look past these numbers considering he’s still a rookie.

He has a lot of potential at the plate. “He’s a big guy, but he’s a really smart hitter,” said Kim Yong-seok, a member of Sportime Baseball who worked as a scout for LG last year. Even though he is a high school student, he knows how to fight pitches. If you look at his games last year, he hit more home runs with changeups than fastballs. At the high school level, you throw a lot of changeups in 1B or 2B, 1B-1S counts, and he’s really good at timing them. He was actually going for the changeup,” he said, recalling how surprised he was.

Kim, who recalled that Kim Dong-heon (Kiwoom) was the best defender and Kim Bum-seok the best hitter among high school catchers last year, continued, “I know that he hit over 40 home runs last year, including unofficial games. I think he has a talent for hitting.” “He was also a stealing catcher. He stole a lot of bases. It’s great for a catcher to have that kind of sense.”

In fact, before the season, LG was worried about Kim’s utilisation. He was called to the final camp, but his body was sore in many places, so he couldn’t train properly as a catcher. As a catcher, you need to have basic defensive skills, but he hasn’t reached that stage yet. This year’s Futures League also focused on hitting, and the fact that LG called up veteran catcher Heo Do-hwan when calling up Kim Bum-seok shows that it’s not easy to be a catcher yet.

However, if he improves his body, undergoes systematic catcher training from this year, and resolves his military issues at the right time, he will be able to take charge of LG’s backline in the future. It will take some time, but he’s worth the wait. For the time being, LG has a starting catcher in Park Dong-won, who could buy Kim Bum-seok some time.

His strength is one of the best among catchers. Lee Jae-won is known as the “Jamsil Big Boy,” and some say he was similar to him when he was a rookie, not now. Catchers who can hit long balls are always attractive. It will be interesting to see if Kim Bum-seok can catch the eye of the coaching staff with his bat first. He also has the ability to paddle when the water comes in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.