The World Series winning shortstop and Golden Glove second baseman reunite. Risk disappeared in Kiwoom’s 2023 season central infield.
Kiwoom ranked first in mistakes for two consecutive years with 112 and 129 in the 2020-2021 season. Then, coach Hong Won-ki announced Kim Hye-seong’s full-time second base job at the Goheung spring camp in February. Golden Glover’s shortstop switched to second baseman in the previous season. The purpose was to improve the perfection of the double play while making up for the weakness of Kim Hye-sung’s long-distance throwing accuracy, while taking advantage of the wide coverage range with quick feet.
As a result, Kiwoom ranked third with 118 errors this season as well. However, Kim Hye-seong was reborn as the second baseman with the best offense and defense in the league and took another Golden Glove. Instead, the 3-Yugan guarded by Kim Hui-jip and Shin Jun-woo had relatively low air defense productivity. This part was also the Achilles’ heel in the postseason.
As Yasiel Puig’s personal history breaks out, Kiwoom has to find a foreign batter again. Then, in 2016, Chicago Cubs World Series winning member Edison Russell was once again recruited. If it is the Russell-Kim Hye-sung Keystone combination, there is a possibility to rise to the top of the league in offense and defense.
It was true that Russell did not live up to expectations at Kiwoom three years ago. He committed 12 errors in 494⅓ innings on defense, let alone offense. WAA 0.112 based on baseball statistics website Statties. At the time, Hanwha general manager Son Hyuk appointed Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) as third baseman and gave Russell a chance as a shortstop, but he moved to second baseman as his sense of stability declined towards the end of the season. Even Kim Hye-seong went to left field for the first time since middle school.
However, Kiwoom has judged that Russell will be different in the 2023 season, saying that Russell has played in Mexico for the past two years and has shown excellent performances in both offense and defense. According to Baseball Reference, this season, Russell played mainly as a shortstop for Monclova, Mexico, with a fielding percentage of 0.967, a batting average of 0.348, 24 home runs, and 74 RBIs with an OPS of 1.120.
When Russell was playing in the major leagues, if he shows his defensive power in the Mexican League this season, the risk caused by Kim Hui-jip and Shin Jun-woo’s lack of experience can be eliminated. Furthermore, it would be best for Russell to serve as a guide for existing young central infielders such as Kim Hui-jip and Shin Jun-woo. 토토사이트
There are not that many cases where a shortstop and second baseman simultaneously performed at the top of the league in offense and defense. Kiwoom expects that with the Russell-Kim Hye-sung Keystone combination. With Lee Jung-hoo, the league’s best hitter, and Lee Ji-young, the veteran, building the best center line in the league is not a dream either. As long as Russell is re-signed, there is no possibility that Kim Hye-seong will return to shortstop.
Anyway, what Kiwoom expects is not what Russell looked like in the KBO league three years ago, but what he showed in Mexico for two years. If you get rid of the team’s Achilles heel in defense and show that it is different from 2020 in hitting, Kiwoom’s first Korean Series championship is not a dream.