Kia Tigers infielder Kim Do-young has wielded a blistering bat that has fueled his team’s eight-game winning streak. As the season progressed, he showed off his hot bat, paving the way for him to completely break out of his prospect shell in his second year as a professional.
KIA won the 13th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against SSG Landers 8-6 at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Aug. 3. The win was their eighth in a row, 751 days since Aug. 13, 2021, and moved them from fifth to fourth place, ahead of the NC Dinos.
Kim started at second and third base on the day, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, a stolen base, two walks and two runs scored. He made contact, hit for power, drew walks, and stole bases.
Kim Do-young was in good form from his first at-bat. In the top of the first inning, he drew a bases-loaded walk against SSG starter Oh Won-seok. He then advanced to second on Na Sung-beom’s infield grounder and crossed home plate on Choi Hyung-woo’s single.
Kim Do-young produced his first hit of the day in his third at-bat in the top of the fifth inning with KIA tied at 4-4. With two outs, he hit a clean single to right field to bring home Park Chan-ho, who was on second base, to make the score 5-4. Na Sung-beom then stole second base to shake up SSG’s infield.
Kim Do-young drew another walk in his fourth at-bat in the top of the seventh inning and then had a thrilling at-bat in the top of the ninth. With KIA clinging to a one-run lead at 6-5, Kim launched a solo home run off SSG right-hander Lee Roon. He even performed a dazzling gesture while circling the bases, raising the team’s spirits.
In a one-strike at-bat, he drove Lee’s second 148-kilometer fastball over the right field fence for a 110-meter shot. It was his third home run of the season in about two months after hitting his first and second home runs of the season against SSG in Incheon on July 5.
His defense at third base was also smooth. He supported the pitchers with his steady movements and contributed to KIA’s eight-game winning streak. Both the team and himself ended the week with a smile and enjoyed Sunday evening.
After the game, Kim Do-young said, “I heard that KIA’s eight-game winning streak has been a long time coming, and I’m so honored to be at the center of it. I’m giving my all in every game.” “It’s the first time I’ve had such a big ceremony. I think it released a lot of frustration when I was having a bad time.”
Kim had the misfortune of being injured at the start of the season, but has been a consistent contributor since returning on June 23. It’s a small sample size, but he’s become an integral part of the KIA lineup, batting .308 (60-for-195) with three home runs, 25 RBIs, 15 doubles and an OPS of .833 in 48 games.
Compared to his first year as a professional in 2022, when he batted .237 (224-for-53) with three home runs, 19 RBIs, 13 doubles and a .674 OPS in 103 games, this season’s growth is even more impressive. After a mid-August hitting slump, he has regained his form, hitting .306 (11-for-36) in his last 10 games.
“When I’m having a bad game, I think it’s more of a mindset thing,” Kim said. “Recently, our batting lineup has been talking about ‘hitting well’ and ‘hitting well,’ so I’m playing more confidently. I think it’s scary to have real momentum,” he explained.
“Even during the game, we talk a lot and feel a lot that we don’t think we’re going to lose,” he said. “Even when we got reversed in the middle of the game today, we talked about how we don’t think we’re going to lose, and it seems to be working out because we’re positive.” He shared the recent atmosphere of KIA.먹튀검증
The presence of Choi Hyung-woo and Na Sung-beom, two of the pillars of the KIA batting lineup, is also a big boost for Kim. The two are usually deployed as table-setters, supporting Kim and giving him plenty of positive energy to lead the team’s future.
“Even if I can’t hit, I can go into the batter’s box with confidence because they’re behind me,” Kim said, adding, “It’s really nice to have legends like them.”