Kim Gun-hee (19) was named ‘catcher and pitcher’ by Kiwoom as the 7th overall pick in the first round in the rookie draft in September of last year. He himself revealed his ambition to double as a pitcher, saying, “I want to try like Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels).”
Kiwoom, which does not set the limits of players, was the best team for Kim Kun-hee. The Kiwoom club also readily accepted Kim Kun-hee’s challenge to double-tapping. He trained as both a pitcher and hitter at spring camp in Arizona, USA. Kim Geon-hee, who practiced defending first base as a fielder, is receiving all opportunities from pitching even after entering the demonstration game.
However, he collapsed in his first appearance as a pitcher. On the 14th, against Gocheok KT, he pitched for relief in the sixth inning, but showed difficulty with 1 hit,안전놀이터 2 walks, 1 walk and 4 runs in ⅓ innings. He had 13 balls out of a total of 17 balls, and his pitching was unheard of.
However, two days later, on the 16th, in the game against Gocheok KIA, he played as a batter and became the main character of the 8th inning comeback. In the 8th inning, trailing 1-2, with 2 out and bases loaded, he hit left-hander Kim Dae-yu with 2 RBIs and a timely hit to give the team its first victory in an exhibition game.
After the game, Kim Gun-hee said, “I felt the bitter taste of his professionalism as I first started as a pitcher. Still, he thought that a pitcher and a hitter are different, and he wanted to show the spirit of a rookie without giving up at the plate. There were good results, and I think it will be a meaningful memory for me.” He hasn’t quit either side yet. When the next opportunity comes, he wants to spray my ball with confidence.”
In fact, Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki regarded Kim Kun-hee’s talent as a hitter rather than a pitcher from the time of the camp. Kim Kun-hee changed his position from catcher to pitcher after suffering a thumb injury in May of last year when he was in his third year at Wonju High School. He hasn’t been pitching for less than a year, and his level of perfection is still low. He is recognized for the qualities he has to grow into a big shot while he is batting.
In his heart, he wants to focus on hitting, but he’s not breaking his will. Coach Hong said, “A player has a desire to try everything. As he continues, there will come a time when he feels and understands which side he should put weight on.” Although he is a rookie, he respects the wishes of the players and is considerate so that they can make their own decisions.
Rather, coach Hong praised him, saying, “It’s nice to see him harmonize well with his seniors because he has a cheerful personality and good sociability despite his age.” He will take more at-bats and see how he adapts.”