Kim Seo-jin is making headlines after being picked 84th overall by the Lotte Giants in the phase 2 of the 2022 KBO draft because Kim is an amateur baseball player with no baseball career. An official in the industry said the 17-year-old is more amateur than Han Seon-tae of the LG Twins.
Han, who was picked 95th overall three years ago by the LG Twins, played baseball in a social club and then played for a Japanese independent league club before becoming a professional baseball player. Kim, on the other hand, learned to play baseball all by himself. The only experience he has is playing for a regional little league baseball team for three years from 11 years old. From then on, Kim has dreamed of becoming a major league baseball player, studying baseball through YouTube videos and batting balls in private baseball lessons. He also practiced professional weight training to build a strong lower body.
A tryout held on Aug. 30 was a showcase for Kim, where he could show what he had learned so far. Kim, who said he mostly practiced baseball at indoor facilities, looked happy, saying, “It feels always great to play baseball outside.” However, Kim was given a sober assessment. Unlike domestic elite players, Kim had big swings and was clumsy with the glove. “He is better than amateur players playing for a social club but lacks the basic skills to be called an ‘elite’ player,” a scout said.
Kim, however, was surprisingly picked by the Giants in the phase 2 of the draft. Giants general manager Sung Min-kyu, who was told two years ago that there is an interesting player, said Kim has strength definitely better than elite players of his age and is very flexible, adding he has a great potential for growth if he learns baseball professionally for two to three years. Sung also stressed that the Giants did not pick him as a one-off event, adding players like him will develop professional baseball.
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