Even Hosobi and come-from-behind hits… Kim Hui-jip “Now is the inflection point of baseball life”
Kiwoom’s ‘young gun hitter’ Kim Hwi-jip played a role in karate and broke the team’s losing streak.
In the 2023 KBO League match against Samsung held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 20th, Kim Hwi-jip started as the 6th batter and 3rd baseman, scoring 1 hit and 3 RBIs in 4 at-bats, leading the team to a 6-1 victory.
He started with lake rain. With 2 out and 1 base in the top of the 1st inning when the score was 0-1, Kim Hwi-jib caught Oh Jae-il (Samsung)’s big foul ball that fell inside the dugout with his body and caught the last out count. Since Kiwoom starter Yokishi was shaking, Kim Hwi-jip’s defense was more valuable.
The atmosphere revived at once. Soon after, the final blow of the match came. In the bottom of the first inning, after making up for one run with consecutive hits from the previous at-bat, Kim Hui-jip, who entered the at-bat, swept all three runs with a double in the middle left, completely changing the atmosphere.
After the game, Kim Hui-jip said of Ho-bi in the first inning, “As I ran, the ball came right into my field of vision. He thought he could catch it, so he jumped in, and he was lucky,” he said. At that time, Kim Hui-jib got caught on the fence and caught the ball while losing his balance. Concerned that it could lead to injury, he expressed his fighting spirit, saying, “I didn’t jump while running, but it was okay because I jumped momentarily after keeping my feet on the ground to some extent.”
On this day, Kim Hwi-jip was calm at bat. He said, “As usual, his head would have been complicated by the thought of having to score. But today, I had less random thoughts.” He continued, “I went to bat while thinking about what the power analysis team and hitting coach said. He thought there were no runners and he focused on the pitcher and hit, and it seemed to have good results.”
In particular, Kim Hui-jip continues to show a strong side to Samsung’s ace Buchanan this year following last year. Last season, Kim Hui-jip’s performance against Buchanan was 4 hits in 7 at-bats (0.571 batting average) and 2 RBIs. On this day, which was the first meeting with Buchanan this season, he showed off his appearance as a ‘Buchanan natural enemy’ by striking long hits without fail. Kim Hwi-jip said, “I met and talked with Buchanan. He joked, ‘Stop hitting now’ and ‘Don’t hit today’,” he said with a laugh. He added, “The ball of Buchanan is very good, but whoever the pitcher is, I think my mindset and batting pace are the most important.”
The final hit that day was Kim Hwi-jip’s 6th hit of the season. It is a long hit that pierces through the foot and foot and crosses the fence, but the honesty batting average is sluggish at 0.171. On the 11th, coach Hong Won-ki Kiwoom removed batting coach Kang Byeong-sik from the first team entry due to the ‘group slump’ of hitters including Kim Hui-jip. Regarding this situation, Kim Hui-jip felt a sense of responsibility as ‘responsibility within a certain part’. Kim Hwi-jip said, “I think the atmosphere has gotten worse since I was struck out during the first series of the week.”
That’s why I’m working hard to plant more. Kim Hwi-jip said, “I think the coach will feel more comfortable when I show a good image in the future. He trains according to the routine he practiced with the coach, and is playing the game thinking that the coach is by his side.” Kim Hwi-jip, who had been hitless until Coach Kang was demoted, started warming up by recording a multi-hit game against Doosan on the 11th. In the first game of a three-game series against Samsung on the 19th, he even hit a come-from-behind two-run four.
Kim Hwi-jip, who also scored a decisive hit on this day, saw the present as “a time of great change in baseball life.” He said, “The part that has not been fixed in my life at bat has been fixed.” (Blowing) I am changing my stance,” he explained.
Of course, there are also regrets. He has not yet become accustomed to moving from his main position, shortstop, to third baseman. On this day, in the beginning of the 5th inning, Ja-wook Koo (Samsung) was unable to handle an ordinary grounder with 1 out and 2nd base, giving the runner 3 base. Kim Hui-jip said, “It’s not that much of a burden, but it’s more difficult to defend third base than shortstop.” Originally, he stopped starting after seeing the bat hit the ball, but since I couldn’t see that part well, it was very difficult to defend at first.”
Third base is a defensive position where you can handle fast and powerful balls with your whole body. Kim Hwi-jip said, 안전놀이터 “I realize why third base is a ‘hot corner’ these days,” but said, “I am gaining confidence little by little as I have accumulated experience through a lot of practice.” He continued, “It is the infielder’s duty to do what he is assigned to in any position, so I am doing my best in my current position.”