‘Transfer students’ Joo Hyo-sang and Byeon Woo-hyuk, Arizona camp to measure KIA’s competitive edge

‘Lee Jeok-saeng’ Joo Hyo-sang (26) and Byeon Woo-hyuk (23, KIA Tigers) welcome spring camp in 2023 with a new team. Leaving with the dream of a rebound, this camp is expected to be an important time for both of them to gauge their competitiveness as starting players.

Joo Hyo-sang and Byeon Woo-hyuk were listed side by side on the first-team spring camp roster recently announced by the KIA. KIA will depart for Arizona on the 30th and start spring camp on February 1st. On February 24th, they will go to Okinawa, Japan, and will conduct practical training until March 9th.

Joo Hyo-sang and Byun Woo-hyeok have one thing in common: ‘transfer students through trade’. Joo Hyo-sang was brought by KIA after giving away the 2024 2nd round nomination to Kiwoom Heroes, and Byun Woo-hyuk is a player who sent and recruited pitchers Han Seung-hyuk and Jang Ji-soo to the Hanwha Eagles.

Both are alternatives to fill KIA’s vulnerabilities. Joo Hyo-sang was recruited to reinforce the loose homeroom after Park Dong-won, who was in charge of the homeroom last season, signed a free agent (FA) contract with the LG Twins and left. Byun Woo-hyuk is expected to be the right person to solve KIA’s thirst.

At the time of recruitment, he immediately raised expectations with a sense of power, but he is not yet a solid starter. You have to show your competitiveness through the spring camp to get on the opening entry and lay the foundation for the full season. 헤라카지노도메인

In case of Joo Hyo-sang, it is expected that he and Han Seung-taek will share the starting lineup and backup in the 1st team, but carelessness is prohibited. KIA also included catchers Shin Beom-soo and Kim Seon-woo in the roster for this camp.

Wearing a KIA uniform for the 2nd round of 8 in 2016, Shin Bum-soo has only 60 games in the first team, but he is a catcher with potential to hit 30% for two consecutive years in the Futures League (second team). He made an impression on the coaching staff by showing an impressive appearance at the finishing camp held in Seogwipo, Jeju, last year, and was also included in the spring camp roster.

Kim Seon-woo, who joined KIA in the 2nd round of 2021, also has little first-team experience, but showed his talent in batting with a batting average of 0.303 and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.732 in the Futures League last year. He also achieved a batting average of 300 for the second consecutive year.

Shin Beom-soo and Kim Seon-woo’s joining the camp is also an expression of director Kim Jong-guk’s intention that ‘there is no obvious starter’.

The same goes for Byun Woo-hyuk. He’s expected to be a big shot prospect, but he needs to show something solid at camp.

Byun Woo-hyuk has only 50 first-team experience. He is more like a ‘original stone’ than a finished form. Still, as he is already in his 5th year as a pro, the team cannot wait forever just believing in the possibility. It’s time for him to show his competitiveness. Only then will opportunities come and the team will be able to provide a foothold for growth with affection.

If Byun Woo-hyuk instills tension in the KIA infield at camp, the entire infield can grow together through friendly competition. Even just proving the possibility of playing as a first-team infielder is a success.

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