“Post Kim Ha-sung → equipped with Taegeuk mark.” Kim Hwi-jip, “Will they bloom at ‘Wishful Wine Restaurant’ NC

Kim Hui-jip (22), an infield prospect with one-shot ability, will leave the Kiwoom Heroes, where he has been for four years, and start a new life at the NC Dinos.룸알바

Kiwoom and NC announced on the 30th that they agreed to send infielder Kim Hwi-jip to NC and to trade to receive NC’s first and third round picks for the 2025 Rookie Draft.

Kim Hwi-jip, who was preparing for the Samsung Lions match in Daegu, hurriedly packed his bags and headed to Changwon, where the match between NC and KIA Tigers was held, and immediately played in the game.

Kim was evaluated as an “all-round infielder” by scouts when he was at Shin Il High School. His main position is shortstop, but he is a resource that can play both infield positions, including third and second basemen. He was nicknamed “medium-range” hitter because he was not big in physique but powerful.

Kiwoom, which sent Kim Ha-sung to the Major League in 2021, tried to fill the vacancy at shortstop with Kim Hwi-jip. Naturally, Kim was given the name “post Kim Ha-sung.”

In his debut year, he played only 34 games, but jumped to the starting shortstop position in 2022. Kim had a batting average of 0.222 and eight homers in 112 games in the 2022 season. His batting average was low, but the number of homers was not low. Notably, he hit homers in the fourth round of the semi-playoff against the KT Wiz that year, showing his presence.

In 2023, he played in 110 games even when he was competing with Edison Russell for his position. However, he only had a batting average of 0.249 with eight home runs, failing to meet expectations in offense.

Despite this, the baseball community continued to pay attention to Kim Hui-jip. As a result, he was selected as a member of the national team that will participate in the Asia Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) held in November 2023, and became the national team after three seasons of his professional debut.

At that time, he failed to start the tournament due to Kim Joo-won (NC), but he showed off his slugging power by hitting a home run against closer Kazuto Taguchi after two outs in the ninth inning when he was being dragged 0-2 in the qualifying match against Japan.

NC, which had paid attention to Kim Hwi-jip’s ability to hit long balls, has asked Kiwoom to trade since last year, and succeeded in embracing Kim Hwi-jip after giving up two top-round rookie nominations.

For Kim Hwi-jip, it would be a pity to leave Kiwoom, which he had grown attached to, but if he does well, he can raise his value more in NC than Kiwoom.

Kim played in 51 of the 52 games Kiwoom has played this season. However, his batting average is still low at 0.230.

In this situation, high school graduate rookie Lee Jae-sang and college graduate rookie Ko Young-woo hit from the infield and cannot be guaranteed their position until long.

NC, on the other hand, has shortstop Kim Ju-won who hit 10 home runs for two consecutive seasons, but Kim Hui-jip is a good match for the team as the team has shown sluggish performance this year. Kim Han-byul, an infield backup resource, is in rehabilitation after being hit by a dune, which is why Kim Hui-jip is highly important.

“Kim Hui-jip has a lot of experience despite his young age,” said Lim Seon-nam, general manager of NC Dinosaurs. “He is a player who can improve the depth of his team’s offense by producing long-distance shots,” adding, “I think he has potential that he has yet to display at bat. It will be of great help to the management of the infielders in many ways.”

NC is also expected to give Kim Hwi-jip many opportunities in the future as he is as good at fostering prospects as Kiwoom.

If Kim can make this opportunity his own, he can be valued even more than Kiwoom. However, the opposite case is true, he is bound to fall behind in the competition. As the dice has already been thrown, it is time for him to make changes himself.

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