Two surgeries, a ‘third-year’ genius hitter, finally got a bat! “I want to maintain a batting average of .300.”


The results of long waits and efforts are showing little by little.

KIA Tigers started its first spring camp training on Sunday (Korea time). Infielder Kim Do-young picked up his bat on the day. It is not a full-fledged batting practice in the batting cage, but a bunt exercise.

Kim Do-young injured himself while playing head-first sliding on the first base after hitting a short hit in the top of the 10th inning of the 2023 APBC (Asian Professional Baseball Championship) final. After returning home, he was diagnosed with a ruptured lateral ligament and a scoliosis fracture in the medial collateral joint of his left thumb and was put on the operating table. Even when it was predicted that rehabilitation alone would take up to four months, it was unclear whether he would play well in the spring camp or not in the early part of the season.

On the first day of the camp, Kim played catch without difficulty. While Kim Sun-bin (35) was playing with high balls in the air, Kim looked happy as he did during the training. He then used his left hand with gloves on to catch a strong throw at the long toss. He also had no problem in training with his defense fungo and bunt.

“I used to bunt and swing for fun when I was training in Hampyeong during the offseason,” Kim said. “Training parts and coaches ask me to start batting training in Okinawa (the site of the second camp). Before that, I am focusing on building up my body.”

Kim Do-young, who debuted in the 2022 season with brilliant modifiers such as “genius hitter,” “five-tool player” and “Lee Jong-beom’s advent.” He only showed poor performance in his first year since debut, and seemed to realize his strong reputation as a professional golfer. After a two-month break due to a fractured toe in two games last year, he returned with a batting average of .333 (103 hits in 340 times at bat), seven homers and 47 RBIs in 84 games, and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 0.824, proving that he was not wrong in his assessment. There were concerns that he might not be able to continue the trend that he managed to save by getting injured again at the APBC.

“In my first and second year, I was very nervous to come to the camp. But that kind of feeling disappeared this year. I think I’ve gotten used to it a lot. I think it’s better to play baseball comfortably,” Kim said with a smile. “I prepared for the camp with an emphasis on physical training in Hampyeong,” he said. “If the time fits with Na Sung-bum like last year, I will work out together and prepare hard.”

Camp starts calmly. However, if he fails to start full-fledged training, he might be chased after mentally. “I try to think positively. Especially last year, I made a lot of sloppy mistakes in defense, and tended to lose concentration. In order to prevent such mistakes from occurring, I try to take more training on basic defense skills and handling of balls in Australia,” Kim said.

He is the path of a .300 hitter who entered the second year of his debut for the first time due to injury, but his strong performance even in a short period of time has earned him high expectations from Kia fans and he is the object of caution from opponents. 꽁머니환전 “I think a lot about checking the opponent and I am thinking about how to deal with it,” Kim said. “I want to hit .300, but I know that it is not easy. I want to play near .300 while playing full-time without major ups and downs this season.” “I will never do headfirst sliding on the first base this year,” Kim said with a smile.

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