Kim Hyung-jun’s shoulder weighed down by Ahn Jung-yeol’s departure…key is to ‘get in sync with pitchers’

There is an emergency in NC Dinos. Following main catcher Park Se-hyeok, even backup Ahn Joong-yeol was out of the team due to an injury. Naturally, Hyungjun Kim’s shoulders became heavy.

On the 28th, NC excluded Ahn Joong-yeol from the first team entry. An official at the time said, “As a result of the examination, Ahn Joong-yeol received damage to the right adductor muscle.” “It is a three-week diagnosis. He will join the rehabilitation group on the 29th,” he revealed.

The departure of Ahn 메이저사이트 Jung-yeol is more painful than anything else for NC, whose main catcher Park Se-hyeok was already missing due to left wrist tendinitis on the 14th. It still takes some time for Park Se-hyuk to return, and considering the time for Ahn Joong-yeol to improve his performance after recovering from an injury, a hiatus of at least about a month is expected. This is the reason why Kim Hyung-joon’s shoulders are heavy, as he naturally has to wear the catcher’s mask alternately with Park Dae-on.

Kim Hyung-joon, who was nominated by NC with the overall number 9 in the 2nd 1st round in 2018, is a right-handed catcher resource. He completed his military service in Sangmu from 2021 to 2022, and showed off his potential by recording a batting average of 0.227 (22 hits in 260 at bats), 5 home runs, 22 RBIs, and a slugging percentage of 0.312 in 159 professional first team games until last year.

In recognition of these many possibilities, Kim Hyung-jun was also selected for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team, which will be held from mid-September to early October this year. However, he has been plagued by frequent injuries lately. In August of last year, right before he was discharged, he underwent surgery for a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. Afterwards, he returned in May, but at the end of that month, he stepped on a ball during training and suffered ligament damage in his right ankle, and he had another recovery period.

However, Kim Hyung-jun did not give up despite these trials. After returning from injury in July, he wielded a fire bat in the Futures (second team) league, and was finally registered for the first team entry on the 23rd.

On the stage of the first team, which had been difficult like this, Kim Hyung-jun turned the bat fiercely as if to shake off his regret. On the 24th, against SSG Landers in Incheon, on October 31, 2020, after playing in the first team 1027 days after the KIA Tigers match in Gwangju, he hit the first consecutive home run in his personal career. As of the 30th before the game, he has not yet started, but he has played in 4 games with a batting average of 0.429 (3 hits in 7 at-bats), 2 home runs and 2 RBIs.

Commander Dan gave a clear task to Kim Hyung-jun, who was aiming for a starter. It is ‘matching the breath with the pitchers’. This is because Kim Hyung-jun could not participate in the spring camp, and he does not have much experience receiving the ball from current pitchers.

NC coach Kang In-kwon, whom I recently met, said, “(Kim Hyung-joon) has never worked closely with the pitchers in the first team. That’s why he keeps trying to match his breath in the bullpen even during games. After that has been achieved to some extent, I am trying to have him participate as a starting player.”

Even so, director Kang did not doubt Kim Hyung-joon’s ability.

“As a catcher, he is a strong dog. Kim Hyung-jun’s shoulder is a part that cannot be made naturally. He obviously has good innate talent. On top of that, when he was young, he had solidified his basic skills as a catcher and has grown. He is also a player with high potential. It is true that the growth of young catchers in the current KBO league is slow. I hope (Kim) Hyung-jun takes the lead and fosters a lot of young friends”. These were the words of director Kang In-kwon.

Kim Hyung-joon, who has many talents like this, is expected to be given a starting opportunity sooner than expected as Park Se-hyuk and An Joong-yeol are also caught in the evil spirit of injury. Will he be able to fill the vacant positions of the two players by quickly solving the task of ‘matching the pitcher’s breath’ delivered by the command tower? This is also a necessary element for NC, which is aiming to advance to the postseason for the first time in 3 years since 2020 (the combined championship at the time).

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