“I plan to be with you next season as well.”
Kiwoom Heroes re-recruited Edison Russell (28), who stepped on the KBO stage as a substitute player in the 2020 season, as a new foreign hitter next season.
All-Star shortstop Russell, who won the World Series with the Chicago Cubs in 2016, recorded a batting average of 0.254 (62 hits in 244 at-bats), 2 homers and 31 RBIs in 65 KBO career games. Although he tasted humiliation due to frequent mistakes along with his batting performance that fell short of his expectations, three years later, he once again challenged the KBO stage.
Ko Hyeong-wook, head of Kiwoom, said, “In 2020, when Russell came to the KBO, there were many difficulties in adapting to Corona. Next year the environment will be very different. You can find stability by preparing for spring camp, not the middle of the season.”
Kiwoom is expected to entrust Russell with the shortstop, the infield commander. As a result, attention is focused on the plan to utilize main shortstop Kim Hui-jip (20), who played 798 innings as a shortstop this season, and Shin Jun-woo (21), who played an active role as a backup in 196⅓ innings. 토토
Some argued that it would be appropriate to solve the military problems of infield prospects Kim Hui-jip and Shin Jun-woo, who were the same age as Russell, while Russell played the starting lineup, but Koh said that these two players were included in the plan for next year’s season.
Head coach Goh said, “(Kim Hwi-jip and Shin Jun-woo) plan to be together next year as well. After that (military issue), we plan to discuss it with the players after the season is over.”
“Kim Hwi-jip and Shin Jun-woo are both young. He is a player who is expected to grow one step further by playing with Russell. In the future, these players will have to settle down so that their power will be solid. Another shortstop resource, Kim Byeong-hui (21), will also be discharged next year. He will think about that part and plan (traffic control),” he added.
Kiwoom, which has a lot of young and versatile players, made use of Yasiel Puig, who has a lot of experience in the major leagues, to great effect this season. Puig did not hesitate to give advice to his teammates both on and off the field, and his existence was of great help to the point that the players said they had learned a lot from him.
Like Puig, Kiwoom tries to use Russell to help Kim Huijib and Shin Junwoo grow. Kiwoom’s shortstop traffic control is scheduled to begin in earnest after the end of next year’s season.