Kia’s top prospect, Kim Do-young, 20, was called the “next Lee Jong-bum” in high school. It’s not uncommon for young athletes to be labeled the “second best” by those who have gone before them. However, the name “Lee Jong-beom” was not given to him easily.
Lee Jong-bum is the Hotazun of KBO history. He was an all-time great player with all the tools to succeed. He could hit the ball hard and far, had the speed of a Kwang-Seok Hwa Jeon, and strong shoulders. He is also remembered as one of the best players in the history of the KBO. The reason Kim was labeled “Lee Jong-beom” was because he had high expectations and was a rare talent at his age.먹튀검증
It was a label that was mixed with a bit of hope, but the athleticism itself was recognized as outstanding. Like Lee Jong-bum, he could hit hard and was fast. Veteran scouts even went so far as to say, “He might even be more athletic than Lee Jong-bum was in high school.” He would need to work on his game, but he had all the tools to succeed. Kia chose Kim Do-young over Moon Dong-joo for good reason.
One of the best glimpses of this talent came on September 6 against Doosan in Jamsil. Kim hit a two-run shot (his fourth of the season) with a 38.1-degree launch angle against Doosan’s homegrown ace, Kwak Bin. According to Trackman, which provides tracking data for all nine KBO clubs, the home run traveled a whopping 173.8 kilometers per hour. It traveled 125.4 meters. These are the kind of numbers you’d expect to see on a home run from a big leaguer, but a sophomore in high school.
Batting speed is a combination of power and technique. If you only have good power, you won’t have good batting speed. Without power, it is difficult to generate a bat speed of more than 170 kilometers no matter how good your technique is. Kim proved that he has both. What’s amazing is that a player with this power also has the feet to run to second base at any time. His physical speed is among the best in the league. His speed from first to third base is reminiscent of Red Tomahawk.
There are very few players in the KBO who have this combination of power and speed. Usually, if you have good power, you lose a little bit of speed, or if you have good speed, you lose a little bit of power. Because he has both talents, Lee Jong-beom is allowed to be called a special modifier.
With both power and speed, Kim is proving to be an all-time great talent ⓒKIA Tigers
Of course, it didn’t happen all at once. There was a process. Last year was a struggle. I went through all the same difficulties that a high school rookie beast goes through. He did well in the exhibition games, but struggled in the regular season, where he was thoroughly analyzed. There were flashes of talent, but they came and went. His confidence began to falter. In 103 games, he hit just .237 with three home runs, 19 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases. He was a backup. It looked like he needed more time.
However, Kim has been hitting faster than KIA expected. After spending the offseason trying to find his most powerful batting form, Kim improved his contact and his numbers began to soar. She suffered a metatarsal fracture in the opening series, but during her rehabilitation, she trained with Na Sung-bum and got a taste of weight training. Some say it’s good for him in the long run because he wouldn’t have been able to do it without the injury.
Since his return, he has been performing well. Usually, when you’re a young athlete, once you hit a slump, your attacking performance drops off. This is because they don’t know how to deal with a slump in a long race. This is not something that someone can teach you. You have to figure it out on your own. Kim Do-young, who went through this last year, is getting out of it faster than expected. Her batting average is up and down, but as of the 11th, she’s batting .300 in 54 games. Whenever he dips below .300, he bounces back and keeps it up.
Of course, he’s still a long way from regular or full-time at-bats, but in 54 games and 250 at-bats, his numbers are pretty good. He’s batting .300 with four home runs, 31 RBIs, 18 doubles, and an OPS of 0.815. That’s a huge jump from his OPS (.674) in 254 at-bats last year. Basically, it’s because he’s able to hit more than just doubles, and his batting average is up.
His adjusted wRC+ is up to 130.3 this year, according to Statiz. That’s a huge jump from 88.1 last year. We’ll have to wait and see how he performs when he plays full-time next year, but it would be foolish not to be excited. Now that we know he’s got the talent, it’s just a matter of keeping that bowl well-filled.