“(Moon) Dong-ju and I suggested that we play against each other.”
The performance of the rookies last year fell short of expectations. There were prospects who couldn’t play due to injuries, and others who couldn’t adapt to the professional stage. Last year, out of 12 candidates for Rookie of the Year, only three newcomers for the 2022 season were KT Park Young-hyun, Samsung Lee Jae-hyun, and KIA Kim Do-young.
The two who received the most attention during their debut were Hanwha Moon Dong-ju and KIA Kim Do-young. Moon Dong-ju, Hanwha’s first pick, was impressive with a fast ball over 150km. Kim Do-young was also evaluated as the ‘second Lee Jong-beom’ and received the KIA’s first nomination.
Moon Dong-ju received high expectations until the beginning of spring camp, but was soon out due to an injury. Afterwards, he came up in May, but soon went down to the 2nd team due to another injury, and in the 2nd team, he improved his physical condition again and started the last 3 games of the season, making him look forward to the 2023 season.
Kim Do-young received fans’ expectations as he became the batting king (0.432) in the demonstration game. He even appeared as a top hitter in the opening game. However, his professional wall was high. From the beginning, he fell into a slump and did not show his expected appearance. Still, under the consideration of the team, he steadily played in the first team, appearing in 103 games, recording a batting average of 2.3 with 7 runs, 53 hits, 3 home runs and 19 RBIs.
Moon Dong-ju was not even nominated for Rookie of the Year, and Kim Do-young was nominated but received only two votes.
In the 2023 season, Moon Dong-ju and Kim Do-young set out to recover their pride. The two often talk on the phone and stimulate each other.
Kim Do-young said, “I changed my batting form to make up for last year’s sluggishness. 안전놀이터
Kim Do-young and Moon Dong-ju have never faced each other in a professional match. That’s why I’m encouraging both of them to do well and meet. Kim Do-young said, “It’s not very nice to have a confrontation when both can’t do well, so we keep asking each other to do well while doing both well.” .
Will last year’s rookies be able to demonstrate their skills in the second year season? Moon Dong-ju and Kim Do-young are attracting the most attention this year.