For LG’s rookie catcher Kim Bum-seok (19), it was both a short and a long time. He spent last month in Icheon from the 19th to the 29th preparing for the Korean Series (KS), which was like a finishing camp. Basically, he trained with the main players of the first team and played a blue-black game. After the first-team schedule, we did a lot of training with the rookies. While the main players were preparing for the KS, Kim Bum-seok was constantly spinning his bat.
But it was okay. There’s no way Kim Bum-seok will be a starter for KS. He’ll never see the field, whether at first base or catcher, except in the event of an unexpected injury. Kim’s only role in KS is as a pinch-hitter. The veteran Kim Min-sung is ahead of him in the pecking order, so it’s unlikely that Kim will face any fitness issues in KS.굿모닝토토 도메인
“It was the same in the regular season, but our team doesn’t use a lot of substitutes. Basically, the main players do all the hitting and defense. The only time we’ll think about a pinch-hitter is when the opponent uses a left-handed pitcher in the middle or late innings of a game.”
Even though the role of a pinch-hitter is not a big one, Kim Bum-seok’s performance was closely watched. The team used him to clean up the away uniform team, which consists of backup players, for every blue-black game, and he consistently made a strong impression, as if responding to the attention of Yoon and the coaching staff.
In the Blue-Black Game at Jamsil Stadium on Sept. 29, Kim took advantage of Lee Jung-yong’s slider to hit a line-drive home run over the left field fence. He pinch-hit in the last inning against Sangsung on the 1st and hit a two-run homer against Cheongbaeik on the 4th, the last game before KS. He took advantage of Son Joo-young’s 145.4-kilometer low fastball for a 172.1-kilometer home run with a distance of 125.9 meters. It was a big hit that was immediately recognizable as a home run.
The whole process went through Yeom’s head, and the batting order went up. “Bum-seok continues to show good form,” Yeom said of Lee Jae-won and Son Ho-young for the final spot in the outfield. His stance at the plate is getting more and more stable. For now, Bum-seok is ahead of Jae-won in the batting order.” The high school rookie, who hasn’t even taken 30 at-bats in the first team, has improved through just a few weeks of training and practice.
His duties for next year have already been finalized. He will play both first base and catcher and continue to get on base. If he continues to improve at his current pace, we could see him starting at designated hitter at some point in the 2024 season. And maybe even in KS, which is just around the corner, he’ll make an impression on baseball fans everywhere. He can come to the plate as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded in the late innings.
When asked about his experience facing first-team pitchers this year, Kim said, “It was a lot different from the pitchers I’ve faced so far, and in some ways not so different. It’s a bit complicated,” he said, adding with a smile, “It wasn’t difficult, but it wasn’t easy either, but I saw hope.”
If Kim Bum-seok can make a splash in KS, it will be a new hope for him and the entire LG organization.