Leadoff and shortstop. The burden is still heavy for 20-year-old Kim Do-young.
In the last three games, he’s been playing leadoff and shortstop for the KIA Tigers due to the injury to star shortstop Park Chan-ho. Kim has gone hitless in 12 at-bats. He has only one base hit (a walk). His batting average, which had been over 30%, has dropped to 2 for 8, and his OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) has dipped below 0.8.
Eventually, Kia manager Kim Jong-kook made a decision.
“I made changes in the batting order and defense,” Kim said on the 18th at Gwangju Kia Champions Field. Choi Won-jun will bat first and Kim Do-young will bat second. I’ll also give Kim Do-young the third base position in defense.”스포츠토토
Despite her error the day before, Kim’s defense is not a problem. “I don’t have many balls at shortstop, so there’s nothing to evaluate. I think it’s about one per game. Yesterday, it was just an error and a three-run dive.”
The 2023 KBO League game between the KIA Tigers and LG Twins was held at Gwangju KIA Champions Field on the 9th. KIA’s Kim Do-young celebrates after hitting an RBI single in the second inning.
“I played shortstop until high school, but I’ve always been a third baseman in the pros, so the quality of my batting and my defensive movements are very different,” he said. “The formation is a little different, but I don’t think my batting is shaky because of the defensive pressure. If you’re batting fourth in the batting order, it can be a burden, but as a leadoff…” he pondered.
Rather than drawing a line between shortstop or leadoff and Kim Do-young, he seems to be returning to the way he used to hit because he’s not doing so well. While Kim is unable to get on base, let alone hit, KIA has lost four straight games. Park Chan-ho’s fervent cheering from the first row of the dugout didn’t bear much fruit either.
Park Chan-ho’s departure and Kim Do-young’s move to third base actually reinforced the hole in the outfield. Choi Jeong-yong and Byun Woo-hyuk, who played third base in place of Kim Do-young, committed one error after another, shaking the entire infield.
KIA’s Kim Do-young hits a single with two outs in the top of the fifth inning during the game between KIA and Samsung at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Wednesday.
The cause of the batting slump was literally found in the batting stance. Coach Kim said, “I put a lot of effort into my batting mechanics. The upper body is stiff because of the effort. I want to say, ‘I’m here,’ but I’m late, so I get fouled. It would have been a good hit if it came out more concisely.” “I wish he had a swing that involved his lower body more. I also talked to the hitting coach (Lee Bum-ho) about this.”
“I think Kim Do-young should continue to play third base, and Kim Kyu-sung, who has more professional experience, should play shortstop. Park Chan-ho can also play in the outfield. We’ll see what happens.”