Kiwoom Heroes rookie catcher Kim Dong-heon (18) has been removed from the first team roster after 93 days. The reason for the decision is for readjustment and rest.
After graduating from Chungam High School this year and entering the professional ranks with the 12th pick of the 2023 Kiwoom Second Round, Kim was named to the Heroes’ opening roster. He defied expectations and survived 93 days without being removed from the first team roster until recently, on July 2.
His contributions were not insignificant. Kim appeared in 56 games as a catcher, including 27 games with the starting mask. As a hitter, he batted .237 with 13 runs scored and 11 RBIs in 136 at-bats in 57 games.
Among the rookies who made their debut this season, Kim Dong-heon was the longest-tenured member of the first team, but he was eventually removed from the roster on the third day of rest, giving him some time to readjust.
“There was a part of me that was tired because I had been running nonstop since spring training,” said Kiwoom Heroes head coach Hong Won-ki before the team’s game against the NC Dinos at Gocheok Sky Dome on April 4, “and I thought it was necessary to reorganize,” he said, explaining the reason behind Kim’s removal from the first team.
It’s rare for a high school rookie catcher to have such a large role in the first team. The fact that he played a role in the first team is significant. Hong Won-ki also made sure to sit down with Kim and listen to his grievances during the process.
“We didn’t talk about much (after the decision). “I wanted to hear more of his own thoughts than what I had to say,” Hong said, explaining the process of communication with Kim, saying, “I felt (together) that I needed to reorganize those parts that I was struggling with psychologically and technically, and the player also had those thoughts, so we talked about those things.
Despite his role in the first half of the season with many appearances and defensive innings, his batting record left something to be desired. His inexperience as a high school graduate also showed.
Commenting on Kim’s performance in the first half of the season, Hong said, “I think it’s better to evaluate him later than to do it now,” but added, “I want to give him more credit for having a lot of experience for his age. I don’t want to give him points or talk about how he is technically, I just want to say that he had a lot of experience and a good time to grow in the future.”
Hong hopes that the de-rostering will be another step in his long-term growth. “It’s not like we’re asking for anything too much from him (at this stage). We want him to grow well according to the plan, and we want him to grow step by step, step by step, as he planned and aimed for himself.” “We don’t expect him to go to the second team right away and come back 180 degrees different,” Hong said, adding that he is not impatient with Kim’s development.
“I want him to look back at what he felt during the first half of the game and think about what he is lacking, and I hope it is something that will help him mature technically and mentally,” Hong said, giving him warm encouragement.메이저사이트
Finally, Hong emphasized that the 93-day journey was the result of Kim Dong-heon’s hard work. When asked by the press if he expected the long journey after joining the opening roster, Hong replied, “No, I didn’t. Not at all. I don’t give players opportunities,” he said, adding, “It’s up to them to seize them when they get them, and that’s something I can’t control. I think it’s the result of their own efforts that they’ve been able to hold on and do well since being named to the opening roster,” he said, once again praising Kim Dong-heon’s efforts and performance in the first half.