Will it be a lottery for the Tigers?
On the 11th, the Kia Tigers recruited three outfielders: right-hander Kim Kon-guk (35), right-hander Kim Seung-hyun (30), and infielder Kim Yong-wan 안전놀이터(20). Everyone has a deep story.
Kim Kon-guk was dropped in the 2nd round of Doosan in 2006, but was released at the end of the 2008 season. After going through Goyang Wonders, he joined NC Dinos in 2013 and transferred to KT Wiz (2nd draft) in 2014. He moved to Lotte in a trade in 2018 and played an active role in the bullpen.
He was released after the 2021 season and had a one-year hiatus, and this time he wore the KIA uniform. In his entrance test, he threw a 145 km ball and was judged to be a passer. He was released twice, and succeeded in returning to the pros without giving up even during 4-year and 1-year breaks, respectively.
Kim Seung-hyun is also receiving attention. After attending Noam Elementary School – Gyeongpo Middle School – Gangneung High School – Konkuk University, he received the top 10 nomination in the 2016 Samsung 2nd round 1st round. He was evaluated as ‘University Oh Seung-hwan’. He threw the ball up to 158 km during his business days, but he could hardly use his specialty.
In the 2022 season, he suffered the pain of being released leaving an average ERA of 11.25 with 1 loss and 2 holds in 6 games. He recorded a 5.51 earned run average with 2 wins, 8 losses and 4 holds in 91 games over his 5 seasons. He played for Geelong Korea and was revived.
After the 2022 season, KIA gave up Han Seung-hyuk to Hanwha and got a promising prospect Woo-hyuk Byun. Han Seung-hyeok once threw a 158km fastball. He had a problem with pitching, but recently he has been recognized as a starting pitcher and a pitcher capable of long relief.
KIA recruited fastball pitcher Kim Seung-hyeon to strengthen the mound, but strangely, he is the same fireballer. Kim Seung-hyun filled the vacancy of Han Seung-hyuk. Of course, he is interested in whether he will add strength to the mound. He also showed extraordinary determination. Again, the key is the control of the ball and the command of the changing ball.
Kim Seung-hyun said, “I felt that I couldn’t do it only with a fastball, so I practiced a lot of breaking balls. He did not add new pitches, but focused on making existing pitches more sophisticated.”
“When I was at Samsung, I had the impression that KIA was Korea’s New York Yankees. The passion of the fans is strong and it is a prestigious team with tradition. There are many things that I am looking forward to even though I have not experienced it yet. I have to work hard to show a good image.”