“Do you like your uniform number?” The encouragement of 15.2 billion catchers… A 12-year reserve outfielder wakes up

 Did he receive the energy of ‘15.2 billion catcher’ Yang Eui-ji (36, Doosan)? Kim Seong-wook (30, NC), who lost his owner with the departure of Yang Eui-ji and took the uniform number 25, is unusual in his performance at the beginning of the 2023 season. 

Kim Seong-wook started as the left fielder in the 9th match against the Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 5th, and played an active role with 2 hits in 4 at-bats (1 home run), 3 RBIs and 2 runs to escape the team’s losing streak. led 

Until this day, Kim Seong-wook had a good feeling with a batting average of . In his first at-bat, the flow was the same. He appeared with 1st and 2nd base in the first inning, trailing 0-1, hit a curveball (115km) driven to the center on the second pitch of Doosan starter Choi Seung-yong, and connected it with a 3-run home run. It was the moment when the final blow was struck. 

Kim Seong-wook’s performance continued. After striking out in the second inning, he took the lead in the fifth inning, leading 8-1, and completed his third multi-hit of the season by hitting a double against the changed pitcher, Lee Byung-hun. Afterwards, Seo Ho-cheol and Han Seok-hyun walked to third base, and then scored a wedge by taking advantage of a catch error by first baseman Ah-seop Son when he was at bat. Kim Seong-wook did not stop at this and even walked 8 times and played a game on 3 bases. 

Kim Seong-wook, who we met after the game, said, “As a result of discussing with the coaches during the camp, it was concluded that the problem of sluggishness in the meantime was due to his psychological state, not his form. First of all, I tried to improve it,” he said. 

Kim Seong-wook is a 12-year veteran outfielder who graduated from Jinheung High School and was nominated 32nd in the NC 3rd round in the 2012 Rookie Draft. In his career, he has received more attention for his defense and base run than for hitting. He hit double-digit home runs in 2016 and 2018, but with a sluggish batting average of 2.21 in 104 games in the 2020 season, he returned to Sangmu to fulfill his military service obligations and return this season

Kim Seong-wook said, “I went to managing after bad grades. At that time, he had a great desire to leave the army quickly,” he said. “Now I feel more comfortable. An environment has been created where you can focus only on baseball without thinking about military service. Also, if I was young in the past, now I have matured. The anxiety at bat has also disappeared a lot.”  스포츠토토

Kim Seong-wook engraved a new number 25 on his back along with his discharge. This is the number of Yang Eui-ji, who left for Doosan after playing as the main catcher until last year. Is there any special reason? Kim Seong-wook said, “I originally decided to wear number 16, but after (Yang) Eui-ji went to free agency, number 25 became vacant. So I changed it,” he said. “I remember wearing number 25 and doing well when I was a youth representative. Also, he wanted to receive that energy because Eui-hyung was sweet and good.” 

Kim Seong-wook also revealed a story he had with his old colleague Yang Eui-ui, who became an enemy from this year, at the plate in Jamsil. He said, “In the first at-bat, (Yang) Eui-ji told me that the number is good. He seems to still be receiving good energy from his older brother,” he said with a laugh. 

Kim Seong-wook’s performance in 4 games of the season was a batting average of 406.7 (7 hits in 15 at-bats), 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 3 runs, OPS of 1.300. The 12-year-old outfielder who wore the number worn by the best catcher in Korea is finally opening his eyes to bat. 

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