Kia has three fast hitters. It was a brief time last year when Park Chan-ho took a career high last year, and Choi Won-joon, who joined the military after Kim Do-young joined the team in 2022, was discharged from the military, confirming the strength of the three players playing together.

One of the biggest reasons why KIA is considered strong is that the three have an effective batting line that shares the table setter with No. 9 hitter and then connects Na Sung-bum, Choi Hyung-woo and Socrates to the center batting line.

This year, Kia plans to prepare a more solid lineup. It plans to try to have Park Chan-ho, Choi Won-joon and Kim Do-young fully advance to 1-2-3 instead of 9-1-2.

KIA manager Lee Bum-ho said, “I think it would be better to do various things about which batting line the opposing teams will put more pressure on. I’m thinking of putting the three in 9-1-2 and 1-2-3 in the exhibition game. I don’t know which one is better, but I want to make the opposing team feel like, ‘This is tight.'”

Park Chan-ho, Choi Won-joon and Kim Do-young represent KIA’s mobility. They are fast feet but also have good contact capabilities. Kim also has some slugging capability. Once on base from the top of the lineup, fast hitters, who cannot let their guard down, are deployed, and batters with slugging capability and RBI appear behind them, leaving no time to breathe from No. 1 to No. 6.

In this case, Kim is highly likely to be the third batter. Kim had seven home runs in 84 games since returning from injury in early June last year. He has 20 doubles and five triples. He is also a fast-paced slugger. If left-handed batter Choi Won-joon stands between right-handed batter Park Chan-ho and Kim Do-young, he may strike a balance of right-handedness and left-handedness in front of the center-handed batter line.

Coach Lee Bum-ho said, “I’m trying to do both lineups, but I think the pressure on the opposing teams could be much stronger if we send the three out from the beginning and let Na Sung-bum, Choi Hyung-woo and Socrates get chances in the back.”

In this case, it is more effective if there is even a “9th batter of fear.” KIA won the title in 2017 when Kim Sun-bin played as the 9th batter, showing off a tremendous lineup and winning. Seven years have passed. If the three fast batters are deployed forward together, this time, Lee Woo-sung will emerge as the 9th batter.

When Choi Hyung-woo and Na Sung-bum left the team at the end of the last season due to injuries, Lee supported the center hitter line just like Socrates Brito. Although he has a strong image as a slugger, he is assessed to have fairly fast feet. He hit .301 last year, and successfully stole eight bases. “Lee Woo-sung is faster than expected. His ability to run from first base to second and third base is as fast as other players,” Lee Bum-ho said.

Kia, which is considered the championship title this year, is challenging itself as a “strong team” by banking on its well-organized lineup while foreign pitchers are receiving favorable reviews and raising expectations. The new KIA manager Lee Bum-ho’s first project is to adjust the lineup more effectively and turn it into a fearful lineup that rival teams fear. It will be revealed at an exhibition game.

BY: 스포츠토토핫

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