If Kim Young-woong, 20, can make the leap to the starting lineup, the Samsung Lions’ rebuild could be a success.
Two years ago, Samsung was in contention for the title. A string of back-to-back wins gave them momentum, and they 메이저사이트 finished the 2021 season with 76 wins, nine draws, and 59 losses. They finished the regular season in second place after an unprecedented tiebreaker with KT Wiz and qualified for the postseason for the first time in five years. At this point, it seemed like a new era was dawning for Samsung.
But now, the team is essentially rebuilding. The lineup is dominated by young players. Infielders Kim Ji-chan (22) and Lee Jae-hyun (20), also known as the “Gulbiz,” and outfielder Kim Hyun-jun (21) lead the way in center field. They are still in the process of growing up and going through trials and tribulations, but they are steadily gaining experience by playing in the first team. They are the future and the present of Samsung.
Another infield prospect is also thriving in the first team. This is Kim Young-woong. A native of Mulgeum-go, Kim was drafted in the third overall pick of the second round in 2022. He is a mid-to-long-range hitter with one-footed power, and the club is taking notice.
In an away game against the KT Wiz at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on April 16, with runners on first and third in the second inning, Young-woong pulled a 135-kilometer cut fastball from Wes Benjamin and hit a huge shot to the right outfield. Right fielder Kim Min-hyuk made the catch but dropped the ball as it crashed into the fence, allowing Kim to quickly round the bases and drive it home. It was the first inside-the-park home run of the season.
Kim Young-woong showed off his long bat. “I want to be a long-hitting player,” says Kim, “and I think I have to use my strengths to survive in the first team. It’s my second year, so I want to show a little more, and I want to show my charm at the plate,” he vowed.
His defense leaves something to be desired. Kim Young-woong, who played shortstop in high school, moved to third base after joining the professional ranks. This was due to the position overlap with his teammate Lee Jae-hyun, the first overall pick from Seoul 메이저도메인 High School. Although he has been working on his defense, he still has a lot of work to do. “I didn’t play third base much in school,” Kim said. I’m getting more comfortable at third base now,” Kim said.
In his second season, Kim is batting .190 (11-for-58) with one home run, six RBIs, a .293 on-base percentage (OPS) and a .523 slugging percentage in 28 games. Defensively, he has committed four errors. But most prospects go through trial and error. Kim Young-woong is also learning from his mistakes.
Samsung pays a lot of taxes to develop prospects. However, if they turn out to be what the club expects, the investment may be worth it.