The KIA Tigers had a taste of ‘hyeonjil’ at the Golden Globe Awards last year.
Na Seong-beom, who signed a six-year, 15 billion won free agent contract ahead of the season, was the only team member to win the Golden Glove (outfielder category). Na Seong-beom appeared in all 144 games last year and played an active role with 180 hits (21 homers), 97 RBIs, 92 runs, a batting average of 0.320 OPS and 0.910.
Na Seong-beom is not currently at KIA. Na Seong-beom felt calf pain since the World Baseball Classic (WBC) last month, and as a result of the examination, he was diagnosed with microscopic damage to the calf muscle on the 5th of this month. He will be resting for 4 weeks and then he will need 4 weeks of rehab, so it will take 8 weeks to return.
There is a ray of hope for the KIA, where the main outfielder disappeared for about two months after the opening. Outfielder Lee Chang-jin is showing an active performance with 8 hits in 19 at-bats, 3 points, 1 RBI, and a batting average of 0.421 in 5 games after the opening. In the match against Doosan on the 8th, he recorded 3 hits, 2 runs and 1 steal.
Lee Chang-jin is a player known as ‘Bit Chang-jin’ to KIA fans. Lee Chang-jin, who was named by Lotte in the 2nd 6th round in 2014, turned from an infielder to an outfielder after his professional debut. After transferring to kt as a trade in 2015, he turned from an infielder to an outfielder, and in June 2018 he was traded again and wore a KIA uniform. 메이저놀이터
Lee Chang-jin played in 133 games in 2019, when foreign outfielder Jeremy Hazlebaker was kicked out after 11 games, and filled the required at-bat for the first time, and played more than 100 games for two consecutive years in 2021-2022, playing an active role as a backup outfielder. Last year, he failed to fill the required at-bats (446 at-bats) with 404 at-bats, but he appeared in 111 games and recorded 7 homers and a batting average of 0.301, helping to strengthen KIA’s depth.
And this year, by consistently hitting hits, not only Na Seong-beom, but also Kim Do-young and Kim Seon-bin, etc., are giving strength to the KIA batting line. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk said on the 9th, “Players are taking turns filling the gaps of injured players,” and Lee Chang-jin is also one of the KIA’s reliable cards.