“Cute and small, but with grit”…hungry for opportunity, blossoming with trading

“He’s cute and small, but I think he has a lot of grit.”

SSG Landers coach Kim Won-hyung expressed his satisfaction with outfielder Kang Jin-sung (30), who was recently acquired in a trade. Although he has only played in two games, Kim praised the outfielder’s work ethic, which suggests he could be a long-term player.

“He came in and got one hit, but his overall hitting ability is good. And his style is tough. He doesn’t get killed at the plate and I saw a lot of good things. With him and (Ha) Jae-hoon in the team, I think they will have a lot of good effects.”안전놀이터

Kang Jin-sung has already changed uniforms for the third time. After graduating from Gyeonggi University and joining the NC Dinos with the 33rd pick in the fourth round of the 2012 rookie draft, he made the leap to first base in 2020 and caught the eye as a standby. He had a career-high season in 2020, batting .309 (122-for-395) with 12 home runs and 70 RBIs in 121 games.

His move to the Doosan Bears comes ahead of the 2022 season. Doosan chose Kang to compensate for outfielder Park Gun-woo’s free-agent move to the NC. While Yang Seok-hwan was already an established first baseman, Doosan wanted to add a right-handed bat to compete with Kim In-tae for the position.

However, Kang rarely got a chance to showcase his skills with Doosan. Last year, he batted just .163 (13-for-80) with one home run and eight RBIs in 40 games, and this year, he’s spent most of his time in the second team, appearing in just three games for the first team. When SSG requested a trade for Kang, Doosan had no reason to refuse. If he’s a redundant resource, it’s better to let him move on.

SSG is a team that desperately needs Kang to play in the first team right now. The team plans to use him as a first baseman or outfielder while adding a right-handed bat to their roster. On the 25th, he came off the bench to greet the home fans at the plate against the LG Twins in Incheon, and on the 26th, he batted eighth and replaced Jeon Eui-san at first base, going 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs in a 14-3 comeback win over Doosan in Jamsil.

Kim said he would open the door for Kang to play to his heart’s content. It’s up to him, of course, to seize the opportunity. He believes that the grit he has shown on the field so far is more than enough.

“I don’t really know his personality (because I’ve never played with him), but from the looks of it, I think he’s sincere, and I think he’ll work hard in the gym. He’s not a big guy when he plays baseball,” Kim said.

“He’s cute, handsome, and small, but (unlike his appearance) he seems to have a lot of strength when playing baseball. I think he has that kind of strength that you need to have as an athlete, so I think it will help me a lot.”

Kang Jin-sung will alternate between first base and the outfield depending on the situation. “When a left-hander comes out, I might use him in right field if (Han) Yoo-seom is not feeling well,” Kim said. For now, we will use him as a first baseman and outfielder.” Will Kang Jin-sung blossom at SSG as his coach hopes and join the myth of successful trades?

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