150km fireballer out, brought in…KIA 1B, finally time for the 23-year-old right-handed big man [Gwangju, MD].

Choi Won-jun moved to the outfield. Hwang Dae-in was sent down to the second team with the return of Kim Sun-bin. Finally, it was Byun Woo-hyuk’s (23)바카라time at first base for KIA.

SBS Sports commentator Lee Soon-cheol has noted Byun’s promise on several occasions during his coverage of KIA games this season, praising him for not breaking his own batting stance when a changeup comes in and for his consistent swing. He expected him to show something if he kept getting opportunities.

Byun Woo-hyuk is a big bat prospect that KIA picked up last November after giving up 150km fireballer Han Seung-hyuk (Hanwha). He was clearly in the club’s long-term plans. However, he hasn’t been able to get consistent opportunities. He has yet to prove himself.

Byun Woo-hyuk/KIA Tigers

Woo-hyuk Byun was forced to split playing time with Hwang Dae-in and Choi Won-joon, and it was hard to escape the reality that Hwang Dae-in, who was the full-time first baseman last year, was given the first chance. However, Hwang Dae-in has been up and down this season. There were also injuries. He’s likely to return to the first team in time for the September expansion roster, but he’s currently out of the KIA lineup.

Choi Won-jun has also failed to make the cut at first base. First of all, he showed several times that he was not familiar with the first base position. As his batting struggled, he was forced to move to the outfield to ease the burden on his defense. This dramatically cleared the way for Byun Woo-hyuk at first base.

Byun Woo-hyuk/KIA Tigers

It’s late August, early September, but it’s time to make an impact. Kia now enters the climax of the battle for fifth place. If Byun Woo-hyuk can stay healthy and consistently hit at least two doubles, KIA will be in good shape. Showing something here could give him an edge over Hwang Dae-in, who will eventually return to the first team.

His defense has been criticized for being weaker than his batting, but it’s not inferior to Hwang Dae-in or Choi Won-joon. On the contrary, Kim Jong-kook has been praised for his stable fundamentals. In terms of his future, he is worthy of being a full-time first baseman for KIA. It’s true that he needs to take his chances, but he also needs to lay the groundwork properly. Only then will we have an interpretable sample.

In 58 games this season, he’s batting .229 with 144 hits, 33 doubles, six home runs, 21 RBIs, 18 runs scored, a .679 OPS, and a .268 slugging percentage. It would be interesting to see how he performs over 100 games and with enough at-bats. Realistically, we don’t have a hitter who can hit the ball far enough to follow in the footsteps of Choi Hyung-woo and Na Sung-bum. I’m curious to see what the future holds for Byun Woo-hyuk after he completes his military service.

Byun Woo-hyuk/KIA Tigers

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