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“They say it’s gotten a lot better”.
Is there new hope for the catching woes of the KIA Tigers? Manager Kim Jong-kook called up Futures catcher Han Jun-soo before the game against the KT Wiz on May 25.
Han was drafted in the first round in 2018. He was the best catcher among high schools in the Gwangju area. He was expected to be the next big thing for the Tigers, but he was unable to establish himself in the Futures team, let alone the first team. In 2019, he had six hits in 20 at-bats in seven games.먹튀검증
He entered active duty in 2021 and was discharged from the military in December 2022. This year, he spent spring training with the Futures organization and continued to play with the Futures team as a developmental player after the season opened. Han Seung-taek, Joo Hyo-sang, Shin Beom-soo, and Kim Sun-woo participated in the Arizona and Okinawa first team spring camps.
Han is a right-handed hitter with a physical build of 184 centimeters and 95 kilograms. As he played for the Futures, his defense improved and he began to show sharp hitting. In 187 at-bats in 55 games for the Futures, he batted 3-for-9 with two home runs, 22 RBIs, and 23 runs scored. He had a 4.1 percent walk rate. The potential is starting to show.
What’s more, there’s an emergency at first base. Park Dong-won’s departure as a free agent weakened the catching options. Recently, both Han Seung-taek, the starting catcher, and Joo Hyo-sang, the backup catcher, were injured. Shin Beom-soo stepped up to the first team and has been playing as a starter. Kim Sun-woo also joined the team as a backup catcher.
Now, Han Jun-soo has also been called up to test his first-team abilities. “The Futures Battery coach kept recommending me,” Kim said. Before I enlisted, I was fat and unhealthy. After I was discharged from the military, I took good care of myself by training diligently, and my skills improved a lot,” Kim said.
“He is said to be stable in the field, both in terms of hitting and blocking. He didn’t go to spring training with the first team pitchers, so there are some things he needs to adjust to.” This means that he will have to adapt by diligently receiving balls from the first team pitchers.
Han Joon-soo has also gotten a chance to play in the first team, something that seemed far away after joining the team. If he can stabilize and show the potential he has, he could make the leap to the first team. It will be interesting to see if he can make the first-round pick proud.