A .333 to .227 drop in batting average, a shattered AG national pride… How the ‘second Kim Ha-Sung’ survived the ordeal

“I was under too much stress every time I hit the plate.”

Kim Joo-won (21, NC), the “second 메이저놀이터 Kim Ha-seong,” who prepared an opportunity to rebound by hitting multiple hits including a home run, met with reporters and confessed his hardships in the meantime. 

Kim Joo-won started as shortstop 8 in the 12th game of the season against Doosan in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 20th, and led the team to a 12-5 victory with 2 hits in 5 at-bats (1 home run) and 2 RBIs. . 

Joo-Won Kim, who was relieved with a floating ball from center fielder in the first at-bat in the second inning, took his second at-bat in the fourth inning with a chance for two out and second base in a 3-3 match. As the opponent’s wildfire occurred, second base runner Kwon Hee-dong moved to third base, and Kim Joo-won hit a timely hit with 1 RBI at the end of a 7-ball game against the changed pitcher Lee Young-ha. After harassing the pitcher with 3 consecutive fouls on the favorable count of 2B-1S, he attacked the forkball on the 7th pitch and reported the final blow. 

Kim Joo-won succeeded in stealing his 12th base in the season, but Ahn Joong-yeol withdrew with a fly ball in right field, so he could not score a goal. 

Kim Joo-won’s second hit came in his last at-bat. He took the lead in the ninth inning, leading 10-5, and hit a solo home run that sealed the game. After watching the changed pitcher Lee Byung-hun’s first ball, he properly pulled the second low fastball (144 km) and connected it to a home run with a batting speed of 161.2 km. It was the 7th home run of the season, about two months after the Changwon match against Doosan on June 14. 

Kim Joo-won, whom we met after the game, said, “I played well in today’s game, but I am not very satisfied because there are some regrets in the defense. In fact, he has a gloomy expression on his performance, saying, “I feel sorry for both offense and defense.” Joo-Won Kim caught Park Joon-Young’s ground ball in the second and third base crisis in the second inning and made a mistake in throwing home, providing an excuse for three runs in the second inning. 

Prior to the match, Kim Joo-won was in a slump with a batting average of 2.207. After leaving Shingo Yu, he was nominated for the 6th place in the NC 2nd Round 1st round in the 2021 New Draft, and he heard rave reviews from coach Kang In-kwon, saying, “It is similar to Kim Ha-seong in defense, throwing, hitting, and running,” but in the third professional season, he experienced frequent ups and downs suffered and did not live up to expectations.

Kim Joo-won, who once raised his batting average to 3033 in April, had a batting average of 204 200 in May and 200 in June. Suffering from an empty hit of 6 li, his batting average for the season plummeted to 2.27 li. Sadly, after being selected for the final entry in the Hangzhou Asian Games in June, his sluggishness deepened and his pride as a national team member was properly damaged. 

what was the problem Kim Joo-won said, “I didn’t think about it at first, but I kept getting no results, so I was under a lot of stress every time I hit the plate. He didn’t have to do that, but he seems to have been too focused,” he said. This month, he looked back and said, “I prepared to hit the ball in advance when the pitcher throws it, so I can see the ball naturally.” 

The sincere advice from the command tower and hitting coach also helped to break out of sluggishness. Kim Joo-won said, “I asked for a lot of advice from the hitting coach. The coach also gave me advice, ‘Do as you practice during practice and do not feel stressed during the game,’” he said. He also gave a lot of comfort and advice, even to his seniors.” 

Time flies and the opening of the Hangzhou Asian Games is approaching in about a month. It is true that NC and the national team had a lot of trouble with Kim Joo-won, a “national shortstop” who had been sluggish in the summer. 

Kim Joo-won said, “It is natural to do our best in every game until we go to the Asian Games, and I will work harder to show a lot of the same image today (20th).” I think I have to go and play the game myself to feel it.”