After failing to solve their first base woes for the entire 2023 season, the KIA Tigers are considering a new solution. They are considering giving outfielder Lee Woo-sung, who is not a professional first baseman, the task.
This year, the Tigers have been plagued by first base issues that have resulted in poor offense, with starting first baseman Hwang Dae-in batting just .213 with five home runs, 26 RBIs, and an OPS of .618 in 60 games due to a combination of slumps and injuries. Byun Woo-hyuk and Oh Seon-woo stepped up at first base to fill the void, but it wasn’t enough. Byun Woo-hyuk batted .225 with seven home runs in 83 games, while Oh was limited to .179 with two home runs in 33 games.
KIA tried to overcome the weaknesses by using Choi Won-jun at first base after he returned from military service in June, but the results were not satisfactory. 카지노사이트넷 Needing time to adjust to the first team, Choi hit .255 with a .672 OPS in 67 games. In late August, he was sent back to his primary position, the outfield.
Currently, KIA’s first base position is virtually vacant.
Hwang Dae-in, who was the starter until last season, underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow last month and will be rehabbing for four months. It is unclear whether he will participate in spring training next year. Furthermore, it is difficult to entrust Byun Woo-hyuk and Oh Sun-woo, who have yet to prove their competitiveness in the first team, to play first base for a full season.
In the end, KIA decided to come up with a new first baseman in the final camp. Outfielder Lee Woo-sung was selected after consulting with the coaching staff. Lee, who made his professional debut in 2016, has never played first base before. Kia head coach Kim Jong-kook was satisfied that “Lee Woo-sung adapted well to the first base defense training for the first time” after the conclusion of the final camp.
If Lee succeeds in making the transition, he could be the perfect fit to fill the offensive void. In 126 games this year, Lee hit .301 with 107 hits, eight home runs, 58 RBIs, and a .780 OPS. He reached triple digits for the first time in his career and surpassed 100 games and 100 hits.
KIA’s outfield is saturated. In addition to core outfielder Na Sung-bum, there are Socrates Brito, Choi Won-joon, Lee Chang-jin, Ko Jong-wook, and Kim Seok-hwan, 안전놀이터 all of whom are likely to be around next season. It wouldn’t be a big deal if Lee Woo-sung transformed into a first baseman. For KIA, the priority is to find a solution to the problem in front of them.