“Failure to lose weight → Leaving the U.S. camp → Getting a hit from the first at-bat of the first team call-up.” His talent is a real genius… The head coach said, “Losing body fat.”

LG Twins insiders say that he is “real” even with a bat. “The proper noun Kim Bum-suk (20) will be synonymous with Korean baseball,” said Cha Myung-seok, LG’s general manager, and immediately got a hit from the first batter’s box as soon as he was called up to the first batter’s box. He also played his first game in the first batter’s box as a catcher.룸알바

LG selected Kim Bum-suk as the seventh overall pick in the first round in the KBO League Rookie Draft held in September 2022. Kim Bum-suk played in 25 games on the high school stage in 2022, marking a batting average of 0.337 (28 hits in 83 times at bat), 10 homers and 31 RBIs, 24 four walks, and an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.227. He led the Golden Lion Championship as the main catcher of Gyeongnam High School, and played as the fourth batter in the U-18 youth baseball team. A scout from a team said, “Kim Bum-suk is the catcher who makes the pitcher comfortable,” adding, “He has both skills and personality, and he knows how to sacrifice for the team. If he grows as expected, he has a good chance of becoming the second Yang Eui-ji (Doosan).”

Kim spent a lot of time in the second division due to a shoulder injury sustained last year, when he made his debut. LG viewed the team in the long run. Yeom Kyung-yeop, the head coach, is well-known as the coach who maximizes the value of a player. The same goes for Kim Bum-suk. Ahead of the 2024 season, he was the first baseman in Yeom’s plan. He was the catcher, not the first baseman. “We need to play catcher, not the first baseman, to get a higher valuation in the league,” Yeom said. Immediately after calling up Kim for the first division on May 12, he said, “There is no first baseman in our team’s nurturing program. When I grow up as a catcher, (Kim) Bum-suk and the team are good.”

However, Kim returned home in February after failing to lose weight during the Arizona spring camp in the U.S. “The most important thing is what you have to feel for yourself. No matter how much you tell me to lose weight, it’s useless if I don’t feel it,” Yeom said at the time. Kim, who suffered an internal oblique muscle injury, devoted himself to rehabilitation at LG Champions Park in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. Kim, who also played in the Futures League, was registered in the first division entry for this season on the 12th.

LG’s Kim Bum-seok (left) is watching Jung Soo-bin entering the seventh inning against Doosan in Jamsil on the 14th.
“We need more training on defense. We will give him a chance when he has a wide gap in scores, and if he thinks he can take a break, he will send him as a starting pitcher once in a while,” Yeom said. “Since he said he would do his best, I will trust him. No matter how good the method and direction is, unless he executes it, it will be difficult for him to succeed. In the end, he has to do it himself,” Yeom said, urging him to work harder. “I still lost weight.”

Then, Kim took the opportunity to play in a match against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil on Friday, three days after his call-up. As a substitute in the bottom of the seventh inning, Kim, who wore a catcher’s mask first, entered the batter’s box with no runners on first out in the top of the eighth inning. From here, Kim simply watched the first pitch, the body ball (149 kilometers, two-seam). After pitching, he kept looking toward the pitcher, and lightly picked the ball out. Then, he hit the body’s two-seam (149 kilometers) that came into the strike zone, and had a hit to the left field. He had a hit right away at his first at-bat in the primary league this season. It was a moment when he could reaffirm Kim’s batting talent. However, he failed to hit home due to unsuccessful follow-up hits.

Afterwards, Kim finished his game by wearing a catcher’s mask again in the eighth inning. Although Kim lost his team by allowing two runs each in the seventh and eighth innings when he was a catcher, it was meaningful for Kim as he was the first catcher to wear on the first team stage. Will he be able to see Kim more often on the first team stage this season.

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