“Instead of feeling sorry for myself and despairing, I started to study how to survive, which gave me new motivation.”
KT Wiz infielder Kang Min-seong, 24, was drafted by KT in the sixth round, 51st overall, in the 2019 KBO Draft out of Daegu Oksancho-Gyeongsangjoong-Gyeongbuk High School. After hitting 12 home runs in the 2020 season to lead the Futures Southern League in home runs, Kang raised expectations when he was named MVP of the 2023 Arizona Spring Training in his first season after leaving the military.
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “He’s definitely good. He has a beautiful bat. I think it would be good to raise him well.”
On May 2, he made his dream first-team debut against SSG Landers. However, it wasn’t easy to establish himself in the first team. After batting .182 with four hits and two runs in 12 games, he was sent back down to the second team on May 19. He never got a chance to move up to the first team.
It would have been easy to get discouraged, but instead, Kang refocused his mind with new motivation. He reflected on how he had been overconfident. She didn’t stop training to grow in the hot weather.
On the 17th, at the KT Future Team training center in Iksan, Jeollabuk-do, he said, “I’ve met a lot of good pitchers since I got to the first team. I met the top pitchers in the KBO, including Pedi, Koo Chang-mo (NC), and Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha). I felt a lot of pressure. I realized that I wasn’t going to get any hits and I wasn’t going to get any defense. When I came down to the second team, I looked back and realized that I was just playing baseball with confidence. I was thinking a lot about how to beat these pitchers,” he said.
“Instead of feeling sorry for myself or despairing, I worked a lot on how to survive,” he added.
Despite their disappointing showings in the first team, they have been unstoppable in the Futures League. Kang is batting .290 with 45 hits, 13 home runs, 43 RBIs, and 31 runs scored. He is first in the Futures South League in home runs and second in RBIs. Despite his lack of regular at-bats, he’s been tearing up the Futures stage with his power.
“I learned a lot from him (Kim Ki-tae). He always told me that my impact was weak, and he emphasized using my wrist. Even if I don’t use my full strength, I hit it the way he taught me, and I got a lot of good hits,” he laughed.
“I also talk a lot with coach Cho Joong-geun. After experiencing failure once in the first team, I’m always thinking about how to succeed, how to fight with the pitcher and make in-play hits. I’m trying not to miss any pitches, and I’m always thinking, ‘I’m in the first team,’ and I’m trying to take it day by day.”
“I don’t care about the number of hits,” he said. “The more conscious I am, the more I want to hit. If I become conscious of it, I don’t want to hit more,” Kang said.
Although his main position is third base, he has also been playing first base defense this season. It’s still awkward. So he tries to ask KT’s first baseman Park Byung-ho a lot of questions, and he also tries to fill in the gaps through training.
“This is my first year training at first base,” Kang said. I’ve been learning a lot from Byung-ho and practicing a lot in Iksan. I’m also training a lot with the coaches at third base, and I’m trying to learn a lot from (Hwang) Jae-gyun. There are still some things I need to work on, but it’s not too difficult. I feel comfortable,” he laughed.
In September, the expanded roster will be implemented. There’s a good chance he’ll be called up.
“I think if I do well where I am now, I will get a chance, but if I think about the first team too much, I get stressed. It’s up to the manager and the coaches to decide. I just need to prepare myself to show my play.”스포츠토토
In conclusion, Kang said, “My goal this year was to make it to the first team and play, and I’ve accomplished that. Now that the team is doing well in the standings, if there is a gap, I want to be the one to fill it. I’m happy when I imagine the fans calling my name when I hit a hit or a home run.” “I’m practicing a lot and building my body, so I’ll do my best to make it to the first team,” he said.