SSG President Kim Sung-yong talks about outfielder Kang Jin-sung (30), who joined SSG via trade on May 25. SSG traded pitcher Kim Jung-woo to Doosan for Kang Jin-sung. The trade was made at SSG’s request.
SSG acquired Kang because the team’s batting lineup is struggling against left-handed pitchers. SSG’s current batting average against lefties is 0.231, which ranks seventh overall. That’s more than two points lower than the team’s 0.252 average. With right-handed hitters like Kim Kang-min recently sidelined with injuries, SSG needed a strong right-handed hitter against lefties.
Kang Jin-sung was the right fit. Kang’s career batting average against lefties is 0.291, which is significantly higher than his personal average (0.265). 메이저놀이터 Over the last three years, he has hit .286 with seven home runs against lefties. Kang also maintained a .400 batting average against lefties in the second-tier league this year. The son of Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) umpire Kang Kwang-ho, he can also play outfield defense, making him a versatile card for SSGs.
Kang is a late bloomer. Kang joined NC as the 33rd overall pick in the 2012 Secondary Draft out of Gyeonggi University, but struggled through 2019, hitting just .253 with three home runs in 117 games. In 2020, however, he established himself as a solid first baseman for NC, hitting .309 with 12 home runs and 70 RBIs in 121 games. This was largely due to his switch from a leg kick to a toe-tap swing with one foot raised. For right-handed batters like Kang, he swings with the heel of his left foot and the big toe slightly touching the ground. The toe-tap stabilizes his swing and improves his batting accuracy against fastballs.
However, he struggled in 2021, batting .249 with seven home runs and 38 RBIs. After the 2021 season, he switched uniforms to compensate for outfielder Park Gun-woo, who was transferred to NC from Doosan. Last year, he batted just .163 in 40 games. The cause of his slump in the last two years was back pain. An SSG representative said, “He has completely recovered from his back injury this season.”
Kang Jin-sung, who is playing for his third team after joining the professional ranks, is also determined. “I apologize to the fans for my disappointing performance at Doosan. However, since I came to SSG through a trade, I will help SSG achieve the top spot.” “SSG was a team I wanted to visit at least once. I envied the infrastructure, including the locker room, and I’m honored to join the team.”