Although there is no Nstar… Nastar School is stretching.
The story that KIA outfielder Kim Ho-ryeong gave and received a lot of help from each other while training together before and after Na Seong-beom joined KIA in the 2021-2022 FA market is famous. At the time, Kim Ho-ryeong helped Seong-beom Na adapt to the team, and Seong-beom Na told Kim Ho-ryeong about batting concerns. Ho-ryeong Kim was of great help in establishing his hitting.
The relationship between the two is still strong. At the Tucson spring camp last month, Na Seong-beom was seen training together with a bright expression until he moved to the national team. Seeing as he’s such an outfielder, there can be times when he’s stuck. Spring camp, in addition to training, is a time to fill each other’s baseball through ‘baseball conversation’.
The WBC is over, and the exhibition match has begun. Na Seong-beom has not been able to participate in the exhibition game yet due to calf pain. It’s not a big injury, but coach Kim Jong-guk seems to give him enough time to rest. Instead, it is often seen that Kim Ho-ryeong plays the center fielder and Socrates Brito plays the right fielder.
Kim Ho-ryeong’s defensive power is painful to say in two words. The word ‘horyeongzone’ is not just there. On the 19th, against Doosan in Gwangju, Kim Ho-ryeong surprisingly kicked Yang Eui-ji’s missed batting ball, which appeared as a pinch hitter with 2 outs and 1st and 2nd base in the beginning of the 7th inning. Conscious of Yang Eui-ji’s long hit, he initially took a deep position, but even after hearing the sound of the hit ball, he jumped out with an animal sense and made a sliding catch at the correct timing.
Kim Ho-ryeong’s long-term worries are also a blow. He made his debut in 2015 and had a batting average of 0.245, 19 homers, 112 RBIs and 207 runs in 530 games for the first team. He has quick feet, excellent defense based on his batting ability, and excellent running sense, but the only thing he lacks is batting.
Still, he set his career high with a batting average of 0.273 in 54 games last year. In the spring camp practice game, 6 hits in 20 at-bats in 5 games, batting average 0.300, 3 RBI, 3 runs, 2 steals, OPS 0.733. In the demonstration game, he went 8 hits in 27 at-bats in 9 games, including 2 hits against SSG in Gwangju on the 24th, with a batting average of 0.296, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. He’s not super-excellent, but he’s not negligible either.
KIA is currently competing fiercely in left field. In June, Choi Won-joon, who excelled at hitting, will also be discharged. Kim Ho-ryeong has many opportunities in the absence of Na Seong-beom in the demonstration game, but it doesn’t seem easy to consistently hit the plate in the regular season. Because of this aspect, it is difficult to maintain a good hitting feeling. 안전놀이터
Anyway, for Kim Ho-ryeong, if he hits as best as possible in the given situation this year, his value will increase and he will be more helpful to the team. Last year, Socrates Brito was hit in the nose by Kim Gwang-hyeon (SSG)’s pitch and took a break for a month, doing his part in the offense and defense. There is no need to mention defense and baserunning any more, and it is a subtle interest to see how much more Kim Ho-ryeong will increase his average this year. There are few beasts in KIA with as much personality as Kim Ho-ryeong. He is an empty player if he is not in the first team.