KIA Tigers left-hander Kim Ki-hoon (24) had many regrets in the 2023 season.
He returned after being discharged from Sangmu at the end of the 2022 season and threw a hot ball 150 km away.
He struck out both batters in a crisis with bases loaded with one out and saved the day. 안전놀이터
Although he appeared in only 5 games, it was a return that predicted his performance in the 2023 season.
There was competition for selection in spring camp, and the final position was a bullpen sure-to-win position.
However, his performance was shabby.
He appeared in 29 games, pitching 31⅓ innings, earning two wins and an ERA of 4.60.
He struck out 26 batters, but walked 37 batters.
He has 10.6 per 9 innings. He had a hitting percentage of .243 and a WHIP of 2.07.
He was in such a state that he couldn’t show off his business card.
He failed to become a first-team mainstay and was eventually sent down from the Futures for over two months.
It was a failed season. Kim Ki-hoon, whom we met at the finishing camp in Okinawa, said, “It was a very poor season.
We were lacking both psychologically and technically. There were also big problems with ball control.
If you look back on the bad games, there were many things where I didn’t have good control. I didn’t use my ball well.
There were bad games. “Because there were so many, my heart took precedence,” he said, self-evaluating the season.
At the Okinawa finishing camp, we are starting again from zero base.
He is gaining confidence after receiving advice from coach Jeong Jae-hoon, who was newly appointed as the first team’s main coach.
He said that the fastball is good and the movement of the changeup is good.
He taught me a lot of ways to use it well to beat batters.
He talked about the importance of command, ball combination, course strategy, etc.
I am practicing and thinking throughout the camp. Changing my form.
He said, “You told me to perfect the pitches I have, so I agree.
Coach Jeong Jae-hoon is also attracted to Kim Ki-hoon’s performance.
He gives confidence through many conversations. “My confidence was low.
The results were not good compared to my charm.
The pitch is amazing. The tunneling effect of fastball and changeup is good, but I did not utilize it well.
The percentage of fastball was high and I did not use changeup well.
Let’s try slider and changeup. “You have to keep throwing it according to the type of pitch.
I found out that the breaking ball is good.
If that’s the case, it will be really difficult for batters to attack it,” he said.
Kim Ki-hoon said, “I’m doing it with the mindset of starting over again.
It’s the end of the camp, but my pitch and command are coming out just as I expected.
I’m preparing hard to not show the same performance as this year. I’m also doing a lot of lifting weights and running.
The weather in Okinawa is so bad. “It’s good.
The baseball environment is good, so I feel good about throwing. The position doesn’t matter.
I’ll do well no matter what role you give me, whether it’s a starter or a bullpen,
he said, expressing confidence.
Kim Ki-hoon’s challenge does not end at the finishing camp.
In December, he gave up the off-season and started playing for the Canberra team in the Australian league.
t is a time to intensively test the parts that were strengthened during the finishing camp.
He said, “I will get better if I go to Australia and practice.
It is a good experience
I will do everything I prepared in the final camp. It depends on my performance, but I will get better.”
Director Kim Jong-guk also has high expectations.
If he regains control and confidence, it can be a huge plus. “Pitching coaches are getting greedy because hitting the ball is wrong and good.
Instead of correcting the form, they are asking for a shift in center of gravity, etc.
All of the juniors who were recently drafted in the first round have settled into the first team
Haeyoung is finishing up. “Ui-ri has established himself as a starting pitcher.
Doyoung and Youngcheol have become main players in the first team.
Now Kihoon must also establish himself,” he ordered.