After recovering 100 percent from long-term injuries, KIA Tigers outfielder Na Sung-beom and infielder Kim Do-young will finally play in their first Futures League game after rehabilitation.
Na and Kim were added to the Future Team roster on June 20 against the Hampyeong Lotte Giants in the Futures League.
On that day, Na was named to the starting lineup as the No. 3 designated hitter and Kim Do-young as the No. 2 hitter and third 메이저사이트 baseman. KIA will face Lotte starter Choi Young-hwan with a starting batting order of Kim Ho-ryung (center field), Kim Do-young (third base), Na Sung-beom (designated hitter), Hwang Dae-in (first base), Kim Seok-hwan (right field), Hong Jong-pyo (second base), Jung Hae-won (left field), Han Jun-soo (catcher), and Park Seung-hoon (shortstop). KIA’s starting pitcher is Kim Gun-guk.
Na Sung-beom joined KIA last year and has been a solid center fielder, batting .320 with 180 hits, 21 home runs, and 97 RBIs in 144 games. However, he was unable to start the season due to a sore left calf, which has been an issue since he joined the WBC team. It wasn’t easy for KIA to fill Na’s shoes at the start of the season
Kim Do-young was the most notable KIA hitter in the opening series of the season. After a disappointing year last year due to a lengthy hitting slump at the beginning of his rookie campaign, Kim prepared for his second season with a proper grind.
Expectations were high for Do-young, who hit .295 with 13 hits, two home runs, and eight RBIs in his first full spring training. However, Kim suffered a fractured pinky toe while running the bases in the opening series and was quickly sidelined.
On June 15, Na and Kim flew to Seoul for a final examination of their injured calf and pinky toe, respectively. The results showed that they had fully recovered from their injuries and were 100 percent healthy.
Speaking to reporters last week, head coach Kim Jong-kook said, “The final examination results for Na Sung-beom and Kim Do-young were positive. We plan to have both players play in the Futures League as soon as next Tuesday. Na Sung-bum will play defense and may be called up sooner than expected if he is deemed stable enough. Kim Do-young may need more time to get a feel for the game as he needs to adjust to playing the infield position.”
Kim sees the addition of Na and Kim Do-young as a big boost to the team’s outfield depth. “With the return of Choi Won-jun, who has adapted well, 메이저사이트 주소 and Na Sung-beom, our batting lineup will be much more stable. If Kim Do-young comes back as well, it will give us a lot of strength in terms of speed. Our outfield depth will be much better.”
Son Seung-rac, manager of the KIA Future Team, said, “Na Sung-beom and Kim Do-young are fully recovered and will play in the Futures League from the 20th. We plan to thoroughly manage their batting, defense, and baserunning so that they can reach the first team in 100% condition.”
It will be interesting to see how Na Sung-beom and Kim Do-young perform from the first game of the Futures League, as well as how they can improve their performance to earn a call-up to the first team.