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‘Long Time’ Hanwha Kim In-hwan “I can feel the phase change… I will learn by watching Chae Eun-seong”

Correspondent Moon Dae-hyeon = Hanwha Eagles infielder Kim In-hwan (29) is determined to show a good performance in the 2023 season based on his performance last year.

After graduating from Sungkyunkwan University in 2016, Kim In-hwan joined Hanwha as a foster player. In June 2018, he entered his long-awaited first team stage, but went down to the second team again without showing much performance.

Even after that, he was often called up to the 1st team, but within a few days he was repeatedly dropped to the 2nd team. He applied to join Sangmu in 2019, but was rejected and eventually enlisted on active duty.

It was last year that Kim In-hwan, who stayed in a dark tunnel for a long time, saw the light. At the beginning of the 2022 season, he caught the attention of coach Carlos Subero with a batting average of . 302, 2 home runs and 21 RBIs in 17 games for the second team, and was promoted to the first team on May 1.

There were not many people who had high hopes for the 7th year professional player who had not been active in the 1st team, but Kim In-hwan achieved a turnaround.

He appeared in 113 games last year and recorded a batting average of 0.261, 16 homers, 54 RBIs, 48 ​​runs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.722.

It was regrettable that his rise was dampened by an ankle injury at the end of the season, but he topped the team in home runs and proudly joined the ranks of the Rookie of the Year competition.

Although the award failed to win because of Doosan Bears’ giver Jeong Cheol-won, Kim In-hwan’s status has completely changed in a year.

Recognized for his performance, Kim In-hwan’s annual salary rose to 64 million won, up 100% from the previous 32 million won.

On the 29th of last month, ahead of departure for the spring camp, Kim In-hwan’s expression reminded me of what I met at Incheon International Airport. Since it was his first spring camp to take his place in the first team and leave, his determination was different.

He said, “I came to the first team last year and received support from many people. After the season is over, I can feel the change in status.” . To do that, we have to do better.”

He continued, “I belong to many of the older players, but my professional experience is still insignificant. I will do my best with the attitude of a rookie this year.”

Kim In-hwan, who worked well last year, struggled as the opponent’s check began. As he progressed into the second half, his strikeout rate increased, showing weakness to low pitches and left-handed pitches. He himself was well aware of this.

Kim In-hwan emphasized, “My weaknesses were clearly exposed in the second half, so I prepared hard during the off-season to make up for them.” 메이저놀이터

Kim In-hwan, who alternated between first baseman and designated hitter last season, has a big competitor this year. This is Chae Eun-seong, who was recruited as a free agent from the LG Twins.

Chae Eun-seong was an outfielder, but turned to first base last year and had a successful year. In Hanwha, the main position has not been decided yet, so he is preparing for the outfield and first base defense at the same time. For Kim In-hwan, this is a part where he can feel threatened.

However, Kim In-hwan regarded Chae Eun-seong as an object of learning rather than competition.

Kim In-hwan said, “I have always competed, so I feel less pressure on competition.”

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