Doosan Bears No. 4 hitter Kim Jae-hwan seems to be showing signs of life, much to the delight of the national team, but consistency is key. He went hitless again.
Kim Jae-hwan is Doosan’s signature slugger. He is on pace for double-digit home runs for eight straight years, starting with 32 in 2016. In particular, from 2016 to 2018, he showed off his immense power, hitting 35 or more home runs in three consecutive years.
Furthermore, the 2018 season was a memorable one for Kim. He hit 44 home runs to become the third-best Jamsil home run hitter of all time. He also won the MVP award for his performance.
His 2019 season slowed down to 15 home runs, but he followed it up with 30 and 27 in 2020 and 2021, respectively. He also had 113 and 102 RBIs.
When he became a free agent after the 2021 season, Kim signed a four-year, 11.5 billion won contract with Doosan. Doosan couldn’t pass up on the powerhouse.
The problem came next. In his first year of free agency, Kim hit 20 home runs, but only 72 RBIs.
This year has been even worse. Twelve games ago, he was batting .232 with nine home runs, 42 RBIs, and a .695 OPS in 111 games. He seemed to be stuck in a hitting slump.
Lee gave him the benefit of the doubt and waited. It was a long, long wait.
Kim Jae-hwan showed signs of breaking out of his slump last week. He batted .412 in six games. He didn’t hit a home run and only had one RBI, but he found his groove with seven hits. He also had three multi-hit games.
His manager was also pleased, saying, “He was willing to make changes. I think he changed his batting form as well. It must be frustrating to be in such an important position. He’s using different methods and not hitting long balls, but he’s seeing the ball well. It was good to see her practicing. I think he’s gaining confidence.”먹튀검증
But this week is the key. The hitting needs to continue.
“We need continuity, continuity, and steady performance, so we’ll have to see this week,” Lee said, but also emphasized, “I think if he just hits like he did last week, it will help the batting lineup a lot.”
Kim Jae-hwan was silent in the 12th game, going 0-for-4.