Samsung Lions infielder Kim Ji-chan (22) showed off his steadiness by participating in more than 100 games for three consecutive years from his first year (2020) to last year. In 2020, the role of specialists such as major runners was greater, but amid rapid growth, he established himself as the starting second baseman last year.
Kim Ji-chan played in 113 games last year and posted a batting average of 0.280 (101 hits in 361 at-bats), 25 RBIs, 25 stolen bases, and an on-base percentage of 0.361. It was the first time he had 100 hits in a season since his debut, and he also had the highest on-base percentage. He recorded 20 or more stolen bases for three consecutive years, and his quick feet and running sense are also indispensable. He also proved the baseball world’s myth that if you keep a steady record for 3 years, you will become an average.
At the time of his joining, Kim Ji-chan drew attention for being the shortest (163 cm in profile) among registered players in the KBO. He had a lot of concerns about it. However, Samsung rather paid attention to the strength of Kim Ji-chan’s details.
He put a lot of effort into himself. He not only developed his endurance through steady weight training, but also worked hard to develop his running sense by studying the bunt course. Kim Ji-chan said, “When stealing bases, he studied how to take more of the pitcher’s motion.” The high stealing success rate of 85.1% (81 attempts, 69 successes) is the result of such efforts.
In the new season, Kim Ji-chan’s role is expected to increase even more. Veteran infielders Kim Sang-soo (33, KT Wiz) and Oh Seon-jin (34, Hanwha Eagles) both left the team after receiving free agent qualifications. Kim Ji-chan and Lee Jae-hyun (21), who can take responsibility for the infield center line (second baseman, shortstop), need more roles and responsibilities.
In particular, Kim Ji-chan, who was responsible for 734.1 innings, the most among Samsung second basemen last year, is a strong starting second baseman candidate again this year. It is evaluated that he will be able to live up to expectations if he refines his defense a little more with new manager Park Jin-man, who was called “the national shortstop” during his playing days. 스포츠토토
The prejudice based on a small physique has already been broken. Now is the time to firmly secure the starting position. It is the 2023 season that Kim Ji-chan, who has both greater opportunities and responsibilities, is more anticipated.