“Yesterday, before I hit my home run, (Kang) Min-ho took a quick look at it, and it was good. He said, ‘Deposit it.'”
‘Second on the team in home runs’ The dark horse of the Samsung Lions’ batting lineup is catcher Kang Min-ho.
Samsung won two straight games in a weekend series against the Lotte Giants. On the 10th, Oh Jae-il (2), Lee Jae-hyun and Kim Hyun-jun hit back-to-back home runs, and on the 11th, Kim Ji-chan and Kang Min-ho capped it off with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning.
In 2022, when he first emerged as Samsung’s crown jewel, Kim batted .275 with a .715 OPS in 118 games and 422 at-bats. But he didn’t hit a single home run.
This year, he suffered a carpal tunnel (hook) injury to his wrist before the start of the season, but his recovery was faster than expected, and he returned to the first team in mid-May and has been hitting well in June. He already has two home runs.
Kim Hyun-jun, who we met on the field, had an interesting testimony. He said it was helpful to get advice from Kang Min-ho before hitting the home run. Oh Jae-il, the “Lion Captain,” who set a turning point by hitting two home runs despite batting in the low teens the day before, also testified that he hit four hits, including a home run, after receiving Kang Min-ho’s toss for about three minutes.
“He’s really good at mental coaching. Instead of telling me how to do something, he said, ‘Hit without thinking,’ which helped me a lot with 안전놀이터 my batting. I gained experience last year, and I think the heavens helped me by doing what I was good at.”
Kim Hyun-joon said, “In May, I kept thinking about the result. I was thinking, ‘I have to hit, I have to survive,’ and I think that made me shrink and put pressure on myself. Yesterday, I had a good game, laid down on my bed, and thought, ‘Let’s not look at it,'” he said, strengthening his resolve. On the home run, he said, “The pitcher kept throwing me sliders. It was a little bit of a bounce and then it came in, but I saw the pitch and I took a good swing at it,” he recalled.
“I was injured before the season, so I didn’t have any expectations for the Asian Games. Ji-chan deserves to wear the flag with pride. I’m preparing a party for him.”
Kim Hyun-jun continued his momentum on the 11th, hitting back-to-back RBI singles to make it 3-2 in the seventh and tie the game at 4-4 in the 10th. He was the main support for Kang Min-ho’s final out.
After the game, Kim Hyun-jun said, “The batters in front of me created a lot of opportunities. I hit with the idea of bringing them in unconditionally,” he said with a wide smile. He continued, “Throughout the game, Ji-chan told me to go out unconditionally because if you go out, I’ll hit from behind. I think I answered him today,” he added.
“The fans have been supporting me this week, which has given me a lot of energy. Thank you for your continued support.”