“The timing of the diving catch was quick.”
That’s how SPOTV commentator Lee Sung-woo assessed the defense of KIA captain and second baseman Kim Sun-bin (34) in the bottom of the third inning, when the score was 0-0, while broadcasting the LG Twins-KIA Tigers game in Jamsil on Wednesday. Doosan’s Cho Su-hyun pulled a 143-kilometer fastball from KIA starter Kim Gun-guk, and the pitch seemed to penetrate the first and second bases, but it looked like Kim was going to throw it out.
However, the pitch had a bit of spin on it and the speed wasn’t as high as it should have been. Kim’s dive was a little early. As Kim went to the ground, Cho’s pitch hit Kim’s ungloved right hand and deflected slowly into the right-field corner. Heo Kyung-min, who had stolen second base, scored to give Doosan the lead.
Doosan then scored three runs on Jose Rojas’ priority double to center field. It was a disappointing moment for KIA, as the three runs were all Doosan would score on the day. It could be argued that Kim didn’t accurately estimate the boundary of the grounder, but in reality, most fielders make good decisions in that situation. The scorekeepers declared it an infield hit by Cho, not an error by Kim, because they thought it was a hard hit to handle.
After suffering for a while, Kim got up and played the rest of the game. It was the second time he was hit in the hand while fielding this season. On June 17 against the Gwangju NC, he was hit in the right thumb by Jason Martin’s liner and had to take about three weeks off.
In 117 games this season, Kim batted .317 with 131 hits in 413 at-bats, 46 RBIs, 41 runs scored, a .735 OPS and a .331 slugging percentage. After being limited to 85 games (2020) due to hamstring issues shortly after signing a four-year, $4 billion free agent contract, he played 130-140 games the past two years. This season, however, he played only 117 games again. His ankle has been bothering him since the beginning of the season, and he also suffered a finger injury.
However, when healthy, Kim’s offensive value was on full display this year. He’s a .303 hitter, up three points from .287 last year. His on-base percentage was higher, and he had seven extra-base hits, the most on the team after Choi Hyung-woo (14). He’s a veteran who can bat anywhere in the batting order. His right-handed pushing ability is one of the best in the country. He is also a model captain who still puts his body on the line in the field, as evidenced by his defense today.
With the rapid rise of Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom) and Park Min-woo (NC), he is no longer considered the best offensive second baseman in Korea, but he is still indispensable to KIA. There were many games where KIA felt a void in their offense without Kim.메이저사이트
It’s true that KIA needs to build a long-term replacement for the position, but the rebuilding process should be natural. Kim Sun-bin’s four-year, 4 billion won free agent contract ends after this season. But he’s still a player KIA needs. One dropped diving catch in a very important game is not going to diminish his value this winter.