Two ‘beasts’ are holding on in the SSG Landers outfield. They are veteran Kim Kang-min (41), who is the “original beast”, and Choi Ji-hoon (26), the “baby beast” who is considered to be his successor. Kim Kang-min has won the Korean Series (KS) five times (2007, 2008, 2010, 2018, 2022) since the days of SSG’s predecessor SK Wyverns, and Choi Ji-hoon has continued to grow from the 2020 season, the first year of joining, and is the 5th this year. He also joined the national team for the World Baseball Classic (WBC). What they have in common is that they dominate the outfield with their tremendous range of defense and batting judgment.
Another ‘beast’ appeared this year in such a solid SSG outfield. This is Kim Jung-min (19), an outfielder from Gyeongnam High School who joined after being nominated in the 3rd round (25th overall) in the 2023 rookie draft. Having been recognized for his potential by digesting SSG’s first and second spring camps between Florida, USA and Okinawa, Japan, he showed his presence in an exhibition match against Samsung Lions on the 14th. He has been receiving attention from the coaching staff for his exceptional defense from the beginning, such as jumping to catch home runs and catching batted balls and making diving catches.
An official from the SSG club hinted, “Generally, veteran players are used as defensive reinforcement cards at the end of the game, but Kim Jung-min is evaluated as having the same defensive power even though he is a rookie.” He is proving that the evaluation is not wrong by playing good rain every day in the demonstration game.
Ever since I was little, I was confident in my defense. Kim Jung-min said, “Since I was a child, I have only played outfield. He is most confident in outfield defense먹튀검증. After checking the batted ball as much as possible, he practiced chasing it quickly without looking at it. He seems to have improved a lot,” he said with a shy smile. Still, “The power of the ball is different in the pro. In high school, batted balls that seemed likely to fall at a certain point sometimes go over,” he confessed.
The challenges are also clear. You can advance the time to enter the first team only when you have competitiveness in batting. Kim Jung-min, who picked Kim Kang-min and Choi Ji-hoon as role models, said, “I want to follow (the seniors’) outfield defense and throwing ability, but I still have a long way to go to catch up with the bat.”
He also showed the spirit of a rookie. He said, “I am in the process of fixing a lot so that I can show that I am confident in my defense and do not lack in offense.” I hope you will pay attention and watch over me.”