Dubbed the “next Lee Seung-yeop,” KIA’s left-handed slugging prospect Kim Seok-hwan, 24, is on fire.
After struggling at the start of the season, he improved his hitting over the summer and began to bomb the Future League.
In a Futures League game against Goyang at Hampyeong Stadium on Aug. 18, Kim started in the No. 4 spot in left field and went 4-for-3 with a home run and six RBIs in a 16-2 victory.
Kim spearheaded the offense against Kim Dong-kyu, a tall right-handed rookie who came to Kiwoom from LG in the Choi Won-tae trade.
In the bottom of the first inning, with runners on first and second, Kim struck first with a double. In the third inning, with a 2-0 lead, he frustrated Kim Dong-gyu with a towering three-run home run.
After giving up an early five runs on a pair of long balls to Kim Seok-hwan, Kim ended up throwing a whopping 83 pitches in 3⅔ innings, giving up 10 runs on four hits and seven fours. It was a solid taste of the bitter end for the former Futures League starter.
Kim completed his six-hit game in the fourth inning with a two-run double to left field off reliever Jung Yeon-je. The most RBIs of the season. 스포츠토토
Kim, who played in the Australian League with Geelong Korea, struggled early in the season.
He made the Opening Day roster, but didn’t get a chance. He was called up on May 30, but couldn’t capitalize. After going 1-for-14 in four games, he was released a week later.
In the Futures League, he also had a rough start. Through June, he had a .028 OPS and only seven home runs.
However, he picked up the pace in July. He focused on making contact, batting .325 in July and .364 in August, raising his season average to .270. He’s also been strong at the plate with 25 RBI in both months.
Kim could be in line for another call-up, as he’s a big bat who could help a Kia lineup that’s in contention for a top-five finish.