At the end of this month, right after the Lunar New Year holiday, 10 KBO league teams are leaving for overseas spring camp. Some teams have already started their squad. Star News publishes a series of interviews with new faces, such as transfer students and rookies, who greet the camp with more determination than anyone else. /Sports Bureau
① ‘KT Man’ Sang-soo Kim “It’s the first time I’ve left Daegu, coach Lee Kang-cheol made a sincere decision”
② ‘He touched the ball in 3 months’ Young-cheol Yoon “He has a light arm and can stretch the ball well”
③ ‘Doosan → Lotte’ Myung-jun Yoon “All This season, maybe the last…” ④ Returning NC founding member, Outfielder Kim Seong-wook (30), who is firmly guarding the team as a founding member of the
new NC Dinos with ‘Yang Eui-ji number 25’ . 메이저놀이터
After completing his military service, he joins spring camp with a new uniform number.
In a recent interview with Star News, Kim Seong-wook expressed his feelings about leaving the camp, saying, “I felt like going to camp again when I was a rookie. The players have changed and there are not many existing people, so there are many new things to learn.”
NC last week announced the roster for the 2023 spring camp, which will be held for 39 days in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Here, Kim Seong-wook proudly raised his name. He will go to overseas training for the first time in three years since 2020.
Kim Seong-wook was barely on the ground in the 2022 season. He underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment in his right elbow in June of last year when he was a member of Sangmu, and was scheduled to build his body at a finishing camp after being discharged from the military.
Kim Seong-wook, who explained, “I had pain from the moment I started exercising,” blamed himself for not being able to finish the camp 100%. At the same time, he said, “Since I took a long break, I tried to prepare slowly, but I was delayed because I was sick again.” “Now everything is cured, there is no problem,” he said.
Kim Seong-wook, who graduated from Gwangju Jinheung High School and joined NC as a founding member in 2012, recorded a batting average of 0.247, 55 home runs, 217 RBIs, and 48 stolen bases with an OPS of 0.723 during 8 seasons in the first team. He showed excellent outfield defense based on his strong shoulder, and also showed one-hit power, such as recording two double-digit home runs (2016 and 2018).
However, in 2019 and 2020, he was sluggish with a batting average in the early 20% range for two consecutive years, and eventually joined the Sangmu baseball team in 2021. For a year and a half, Kim Seong-wook focused on strengthening his hitting, which was his task. He said, “I experimented by changing the timing of hitting, such as hitting from the front or from the back,” and said, “I tried to do what I tried in the first year last year, but my elbow hurt.”
Now, Kim Seong-wook is making a new start as a reserve sergeant. While he was in the army, national team outfielders Park Geon-woo (33) and Son Ah-seop (35) joined the free agency. Wasn’t there a sense of crisis watching this? “There was no such thing,” he said firmly, “if it’s for the team, it’s right for a good player to come.” He continued, “It’s a style that only cares about myself, so I thought that if I was good at it, I would play often.”
Kim Seong-wook, who wore uniform numbers 34, 38, and 31 before enlisting, had number 25, which was occupied by Eui-ji Yang (36, Doosan) until last year. He explained the reason, “This is the number I wore when I was in the youth team,” and “I thought about the feeling that the batting was good at that time.” “I was going to do 25 in 2019, but Ui-hyung came,” he laughed, saying, “I was planning on doing 16, but I was able to wear 25 as Ui-hyung went to Doosan.”
This season, NC is being evaluated as an ‘underdog’ as Yang Eui-ji, Noh Jin-hyuk (34, Lotte), and Won Jong-hyun (36, Kiwoom) left. However, Kim Seong-wook engraved the phrase ‘the most important thing is an unbreakable heart’. Kim Seong-wook, who is a fan of League of Legends (LOL) teams DRX and Deft (27, real name Kim Hyuk-kyu), said, “Even when DRX won, they were evaluated as underdogs.”
What is your personal goal? Kim Seong-wook said, “I want to play full-time for one season in the first team, and I want to become an icon of victory.” He said, “The team hasn’t been able to go to fall baseball for the past two years,” he said, “I hope I can go to the postseason again when I come back.”
He sent greetings to the NC fans who had been waiting for his military service, saying, “After being apart, I felt more precious, and I want to hear that I have improved after going to the army. I will listen to the story of ‘I have changed into a hard-working player’.”