finally exploded Kiwoom Heroes’ returning foreign hitter Edison Russell (29) hit his first home run in an exhibition game and escaped from a long slump.
Russell started as the 4th hitter and shortstop in the home game against the Samsung Lions in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League demonstration game held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 24th, and led the team to victory by wielding 3 hits and 3 RBIs in 3 at-bats, including a two-run home run.
At the same time, Russell raised his batting average to 0.250 in the exhibition game, which had been in the 10% range until the previous day, suffering from empty hitters. This is the most welcome news now, with just over a week left before the start of the season.
In the game on the 24th, Russell’s bat returned fiercely, reporting a hit to the left from the beginning of the first inning. Then, in the second at-bat with 2nd out and 3rd base in the 3rd inning, he hit a timely hit again to raise an RBI.
And in the 5th inning, Russell’s long-awaited cannon finally exploded. Standing at bat with 1 out and 1st base, Russell drew a two-run arch over the left wall with Samsung’s right-hander Lee Ho-seong’s 143km fastball. First home run in 10 games. At the same time, it was also the first home run that Russell recorded in an exhibition game as a member of Kiwoom.
Previously, Russell joined Kiwoom as a substitute foreign player in mid-2020 with a brilliant history as a member of the World Series winning team of the Chicago Cubs in 2016. However, his batting average of 0.254 / 2 homers / 31 RBIs / OPS of 0.653 fell short of his reputation and he failed to renew his contract.
Afterwards, Russell, who moved to the Mexican league, showed a resurgence with a batting average of 0.319, 25 home runs and 76 RBIs in 80 games last year, and signed a second contract with Kiwoom. Kiwoom also showed great expectations by giving Russell $700,000.
This is also true because last year, foreign hitter Yasiel Puig, who was trying to renew the contract, failed to sign the contract due to personal issues and other problems, and had to fill the void. In addition, if Russell takes over the starting shortstop and center batting order, he can not only strengthen his infield competitiveness but also satisfy his thirst for giant guns at the same time.
First of all, the trust of the coaching staff is strong.안전놀이터 Ahead of the match on the 23rd, coach Hong Won-ki said, “Now the training process is going smoothly. Since it is literally an exhibition game, there are definitely those parts that are expected about the season,” he said.
In the end, although it was a little late, Russell also performed an activity that met expectations and started warming up in earnest. As the opening of the season is still left, it is enough to show a full-fledged appearance in the regular season. Will Russell be able to prove the reason for his comeback?