KIA Tigers outfielder Seok-hwan Kim went 2-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs in the Futures League. However, there was no room for him on the September expansion roster. With a deep first-team outfield depth chart, Kim’s chances are slim to none.
On September 1, KIA called up pitchers Park Jun-pyo and Kim Dae-yu, catcher Han Seung-taek, and infielder Hwang Dae-in. The remaining spot belongs to Lee, who will make his return from injury on Sept. 3.
KIA manager Kim Jong-guk met with the media before the game on the 1st and said, “With the implementation of the expanded roster, we strengthened the bullpen and also called up catchers and infielders. As for Han Seung-taek and Hwang Dae-in, we plan to use them as backups late in the game.”
One of the most notable names missing from the expanded roster is Kim Seok-hwan. The 1999-born left-handed hitting outfielder has been a frontrunner for a first-team call-up all season and has put up impressive numbers in 67 Futures League games, hitting .291 with 16 home runs, 61 RBIs, a .390 slugging percentage and a .555 on-base percentage.
He recently went on a five-game hitting streak in the Futures League, and has hit four home runs in that span. Most notably, on September 1 against the Samsung Lions in the Futures League, the first day of the expanded roster, Kim went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two home runs, five RBI and two runs scored.
Batting fourth in the lineup, Kim struck out swinging in his first at-bat in the top of the second inning. Then, in his second at-bat in the top of the fourth inning, he took a four-pitch at-bat with the bases loaded against Choi Ha-neul, the opposing starter, and launched a towering 130-meter solo home run.
Kim came to the plate with runners on first and third in the top of the sixth inning and hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Then, in the top of the eighth inning, with runners on second and third and two outs, Kim took a six-pitch at-bat with a 2B-2S count against reliever Choi Chung-yeon and launched a 130-meter triple arch over the right field wall. Kim showed off his incredible power twice on the day, hitting a 130-meter home run.
Kim Seok-hwan, who didn’t get a chance in September’s expanded roster, finds KIA’s ‘league-leading’ outfield depth hard to break through
However, Kim hasn’t had much of a chance with the first team this season. After making the opening day roster, he was designated for assignment four days later. He received one more call-up in late May, but after going 1-for-14 with a home run and two RBIs in four games, he was sent down to the Future Team.
A September call-up to the expanded roster was a possibility, but it never materialized. Kim has been playing mostly outfield defense this season. The outfield depth of the KIA first team is one of the best in Korea. Go Jong-wook, Socrates, Choi Hyung-woo, Na Sung-beom, and Choi Won-joon are all left-handed outfielders, and Lee Woo-sung and Lee Chang-jin make up the KIA outfield lineup. It’s hard to see any room for Kim Seok-hwan to break through.토토사이트
On top of that, the KIA bats have been on fire lately. Riding a five-game winning streak, KIA knocked out the league’s strongest starting pitcher and “nemesis” Pedi with seven runs on August 31 against the Gwangju NC Dinos. Keeping the momentum going, the team also took advantage of foreign pitcher Elias on September 1 against the SSG Landers in Munhak with five runs in five innings. With a six-game winning streak under their belt, KIA doesn’t feel the need to make any changes to their batting lineup.
From Kim Seok-hwan’s point of view, he has no choice but to be patient and wait for a call-up opportunity that could come at any moment. It’s a matter of luck as well as skill. It will be interesting to see if Kim can dramatically show his worth in the first team at the end of the season.