In his third year with the NC Dinos, Kim Joo-won (21) has become the team’s main shortstop and a key player in the team. He is following in the footsteps of Oh Ji-hwan (33, LG) as the next leading shortstop in the KBO.

Dubbed the “Changwon Idol” and the number one selling jersey, Kim is now the new face of NC. He is a switch-hitting shortstop who combines athleticism and long batting power. Star power.먹튀검증

For a player who is only in his third year of playing, NC is not afraid to entrust him with the role of commander of the infield. Kim Joo-won was able to make his first-team debut in 2021 when he was unexpectedly suspended for violating quarantine rules, and he showed great promise. He played more frequently from last year, eventually pushing veteran Noh Jin-hyuk (Lotte) out of the line-up in the second half of last year and becoming the de facto starting shortstop. The club was planning to give him a chance to gain experience quickly.

This year, Kim is batting .275 (41-for-149) with five home runs, 18 RBIs, 20 runs scored, six doubles and a .754 OPS in 44 games. His Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 1.29 ranks third among shortstops in the league, per Statcast. His OPS is also third among shortstops. The third-year player is already on his way to becoming one of the best shortstops in the league. He doesn’t have a lot of experience, and he’s gotten to where he is based on talent and potential alone.

Of course, we can also see that he”s still a work in progress. He”s already committed 12 errors and lacks accuracy and detail in his defence. He’s also struck out 44 times, the third most in the league. He’s not quite there yet in terms of accuracy and initiative.

Nevertheless, NC has set the direction of Kim’s development by paying more attention to his strengths and emphasising them more than his current shortcomings. “He needs to gain more experience at the plate and adapt to different pitchers. You have to have a clear judgement on how to make contact depending on the ball. That will get better with experience,” he said, adding, “Right now, I’m a player who can hit more distance than contact. I don’t want to regress to what I’m good at because of contact. With a little more experience, he can hit 20 home runs. It’s more important to look at the future. That’s why we’re trying to get him to swing with confidence and not just play for contact.”

“There are some errors, but they are better than last year,” he said, adding, “Actually, (Kim) Joo-won is doing a really good job considering the number of years he has been playing. Our expectations and standards are set high for him,” he said, adding that he is doing a good job considering his seniority.

The tools are there: long bat and athleticism, but he’s still inexperienced, and he’s been tipped to be the team’s starting shortstop early on. Kim’s development is reminiscent of LG Twins’ Oh Ji-hwan. After joining the team in 2009, Oh became the team’s starting shortstop almost immediately. It was a long process of trial and error, but he’s now one of the best shortstops in the league and even the country.

In 2012, his fourth year with the team and third full-time season, Oh batted 24-for-46 (115-for-462) with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 66 runs scored, 23 doubles and a .715 OPS in 133 games. He also struck out 122 times and committed 25 errors. At this rate, Kim’s and Oh’s stats in their third full-time seasons will be remarkably similar.

As a result of LG’s patience in taxing Oh and persevering with him, they were able to build a team around the best shortstop in the league and have a solid infield. NC is also hoping that Kim Joo-won will become a league-leading shortstop like Oh Ji-hwan. “We hope that Kim Joo-won will become not only a representative player of our club, but also a representative shortstop of Korea,” said Kang Myung-hyun.

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