I thought the ball was going to rip.”
Opposing managers were equally impressed with the return of Kia Tigers’ Do-Young Kim from injury. Kim hit so well in the three games of the Futures League, going 6-for-10 with two home runs and three RBIs, that the coaching staff reversed their initial plan to give him a few more games before calling him up to the first team, along with Na Seong-beom, on the 23rd against the Gwangju KT Wiz.
As soon as he came up, he did well. In his first game back, he went 2-for-5 with a home run and a stolen base against KT on the 23rd, and on the 24th, he went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, and two RBIs. In two games, he was 4-for-9.
“At the beginning of last year, he did well in the exhibition games, but he was analyzed a lot by the opposing pitchers, but this year, he seems to know the opponent’s style and adjusts to it,” said KIA manager Kim Jong-guk. “He prepared early, and although there was a gap due to injury, he seems to be doing well as he prepared. He hasn’t played a few games, but it seems to be going as well as he thought it would.”
KT coach Lee Kang-cheol, who faced Kim Do-young for the first time, was quite surprised. “His body has improved compared to last year. I think he’s gotten bigger,” he said, adding, “I thought the ball was going to tear when he hit in the first inning.” The second pitch from KT starter William Cuevas was a 139-kilometer outside cutter that flew toward the pitcher and took Cuevas by surprise. It was a line drive to center field. In his second at-bat in the bottom of the third inning, he lined a 141-kilometer cutter into the zone with a 1B1S count for a clean hit.
Not just hitting. Lee was also impressed with Kim’s defense. Playing third base in the 24th game, Kim quickly fielded Ahn Chi-young’s surprise bunt in the top of the third inning and threw reliably to first base for an easy out.
“Ahn Chi-young hit the bunt very well, and with her legs, she could have been safe,” Lee said, adding, “Kim Do-young came in very quickly and handled it.” 메이저놀이터
In the second game of the season, on April 2 against SSG Landers, Kim injured her left pinky toe while entering the game and was substituted midway through the game, and a medical examination revealed a fracture. Kim had been hitting well, going 3-for-3 in the second game, so it was a big disappointment for the team and himself.
After nearly three months of treatment and rehabilitation, he’s back and looking as good as ever. Kim’s 2023 season is just beginning.