“I was upset after getting hit by Byung-ho Park’s home run.”
Kiwoom Heroes rookie Kim Gun-hee (19), who was drafted with the sixth pick in the first round of the 2023 rookie draft, made waves when he decided to switch to a two-hitter. He had been a catcher and pitcher since his Wonju days, but after joining Kiwoom, he virtually gave up catching to pitch and play first base.
Kiwoom basically has no intention of holding back Kim’s potential. A year after joining the organization, the idea of supporting Kim as much as possible hasn’t changed. However, there were limitations in the pros. In three games as a pitcher, she had a 22.50 ERA, and in nine games as a hitter, she went 2-for-11 with a .182 batting average.
In the Futures League, he batted .254 with one home run, 19 RBI, 14 runs scored, and a .651 OPS in 47 games as a hitter and 2-1 with a 9.69 ERA in 14 games as a pitcher. Internally, there are voices calling for a change of direction. Kim says he will follow the club’s instructions, but the club is cautious and doesn’t want to “joust” with a promising player.
When we met at his home in Wonju, where he was having his final training session on the 9th, he seemed to have made up his mind. “When I was a rookie, I couldn’t do anything because of my older brothers. Now, I’m focusing on my baseball while taking care of the juniors. My mindset is different from the first year.”
He has a great desire to be a good pitcher. “I had a lot of opportunities as a hitter, but as a pitcher, I couldn’t throw any of my pitches. I was very disappointed and not ready. The professional barrier was very high, but it was an experience. I was intimidated by the home run, but I gained a lot of experience by not avoiding it, giving up walks and getting hits. My pitches were light and centered, so it was easy to hit.”
Kim can’t forget the home run he hit on July 13 against his old teammate, KT Jeonseo’s Park Byung-ho. While those around him encouraged him to “get hit and go big,” he didn’t necessarily take it that way. “I was honestly upset. I can get hit, but I can only improve by catching hitters who represent Korea.” 아톰카지노 도메인
Kim started pitching late in life, so his technique is still a bit lacking. He needs a lot of experience. For now, he’s adding a changeup to his fastball and slider-oriented manual. “I felt that the changeup is important in the pros. You have to throw your changeup for strikes to save your fastball,” he said.
Next year, he vowed to be different from this season. “It should be different in the third to fifth year,” Ahn Woo-jin said. Kim Gun-hee said, “I don’t know the level of perfection, but I have to show that I’ve changed. That’s why this final training is important.”
A typical day in Wenzhou is packed. They wake up in the morning and go for a short hike, then have a rigorous training session in the afternoon, and then train at night. “When I’m pitching, I feel that I need to throw a more solid ball from the batter’s point of view, and when I’m hitting, I feel how to throw at this time from the pitcher’s particles. In the end, even if I choose one, if I work hard at both, I can prepare for the future,” Kim said. It’s a great camp in that sense.”