“If she hadn’t won the gold medal, she was actually on the list to join the military.”
Kim Hye-sung, 24, won a gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which opened up his options in baseball. Most obviously, military service benefits have removed a barrier to reaching the major leagues. If he successfully completes the 2024 season, he will have served seven years of full-time service and will be eligible for the major leagues through the Korean-American Posting System. After the 2025 season, he will be eligible for free agency.
But even as a fan, I’m happy for Kim Hye-sung’s gold medal. Before the game against KIA in Gwangju on Nov. 11, coach Hong Won-ki said, “If Kim Hye-seo hadn’t won the gold medal, she was actually on the list to join the military. Luckily, she and I will be able to play together next year.”
Kiwoom will part ways with Lee Jung-hoo after this season. The team needs a new pillar of strength. However, the team struggled with injuries this year, and in the rookie draft, they selected two players in the first through third rounds. With Lee Jung-hoo out for the season and the trade of Choi Won-tae, the team is in rebuilding mode.
Even in a rebuild, pillars are essential, which means that if Kim Hye-sung’s military service wasn’t resolved, the team even considered sending him to the army and waiting another year or two. If she wanted to go abroad, she would have to go through the military first.
Kim’s gold medal is a welcome relief for Ki, as it puts those worries to rest. At the very least, Kiwoom will be able to rebuild and retool for the 2024 season with Kim as a pillar. Kim’s presence is huge.
There are veterans in the batting order in Lee Hyung-jong and Lee Won-seok. Both are long-term contracts, but they’ve had their ups and downs this year, and there’s no guarantee they’ll be good next year. In many ways, it would be ideal for Kim Hye-sung, who has been one of the league’s top producers over the past few years, to be the centerpiece of the team. For now, Kiwoom can just go with that for next year. 토토사이트
Kim Hye-sung hit the ground running after returning from Hangzhou. In 136 games this season, she’s batting .554 with 185 hits, seven home runs, 57 RBI, 103 runs scored, 25 doubles, a .446 on-base percentage, a .394 OPS, an .840 slugging percentage, and a .314 on-base percentage. Narrowly misses the lead for most hits. A favorite to win his second straight Gold Glove at second base.
Manager Hong Won-ki said, “I think we just need to center Kim Hye-sung and support Lee Joo-hyung. We are preparing for a new year, and Park Soo-jong has also shown good form, making him an option for a spot in the outfield. In the infield, players with batting support should stand out, centered on Kim Hye-sung. If Song Sung-moon develops next year, it will be a big boost for the batting lineup.”