The team’s debut match couldn’t have been more perfect. Byun Woo-hyeok (23), a trader recruited by the KIA with great effort, proved to be the team’s hopeful player by showing off his home run and on-base ability.
Byun Woo-hyeok played as the starting 5th first baseman 스포츠토토in the match against SSG held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 2nd. Byun Woo-hyeok, who was only on the bench because he could not get a chance to play in the opening game on the 1st, got a chance to make his team debut according to the batting order adjustment on the 2nd. KIA took note of the fact that the opponent’s starting pitcher was left-hander Kirk McCarty, and started left-handed hitter Choi Hyeong-woo from the bench and put Hwang Dae-in as the designated hitter to create Byun Woo-hyuk’s position.
Byun Woo-hyeok, who joined Hanwha in November last year through a 1-2 trade, has been evaluated as a great player representing amateurs since high school. Expectations were so high that KIA, which was in a hurry to foster a right-handed hitter, recruited two pitchers, Han Seung-hyuk and Jang Ji-su. Byun Woo-hyeok, who was gradually freed from a chronic back injury, drew attention with a relatively good hitting feeling from the Okinawa camp.
Byun Woo-hyuk fired a cannon from the start. In the second inning, where the score was 0-0, he pulled Kirk McCarty’s four-seam fastball at 150 km/h and hit a home run that went over the left wall. It was an unfavorable count of 2S, but McCarty’s ball, which was in a head-to-head match, was hit at the correct timing. It was his first home run of his own all season and also the team’s first.
In the third and fourth innings, Byun Woo-hyeok walked consecutively, and in the seventh inning, as the lead batter, hit a hit that fell to the side of the third baseman, recording two hits and two walks. This was the first time that Byun Woo-hyeok had 4 on-base games in one game. In addition to that, he contributed to the team’s 9-5 victory, proving his defensive ability by showing a few sharp appearances in first base defense.
Byun Woo-hyuk’s performance is significant in that it provides multiple options to the KIA infield. Byun Woo-hyeok is a player who can play both first and third base. Even if third base with Ryu Ji-hyeok is put aside, he can play as first baseman or play designated hitter. Byun Woo-hyeok needs to be good at it so that existing key players such as Choi Hyung-woo and Hwang Dae-in can take breaks.
On the other hand, as Kim Do-young is expected to be absent for the time being due to an unexpected injury in the game against SSG Incheon on the 2nd, an emergency option at third base is also a possible scenario. As the start was amazing, I am looking forward to the future performance.