Kim Hye-sung (24, Kiwoom), who has become the KBO’s leading second baseman, has reiterated his desire to return to shortstop. This is a sign of her preparation for the major leagues. Kiwoom will also have to think long and hard before next season.
Kim Hye-sung met with Kiwoom head coach Hong Won-ki after attending the Joa Pharmaceutical Baseball Awards on April 4. After expressing her desire to move to the United States after the 2024 season, she was the first to speak with the manager, even though she hasn’t officially finalized anything with the club yet. At the meeting, Hong said that he would actively support and cheer her on for the time being.
Hye-sung told Hong that she would like to move to shortstop next season. “Shortstop is the best position for me. I’ve always had a soft spot for shortstop. I’m going to tell the coach that I want to play again.”
Kim is an infielder who can play both second base and shortstop. She was a shortstop when she joined the team, but she also played second base due to team circumstances. In 2021, she won her first Golden Glove as a shortstop, and in 2022, she won it as a second baseman, making her the first player in the league to win a Golden Glove as both a shortstop and a second baseman. Today, Kim Hye-sung is Kiwoom’s starting second baseman and a national team second baseman. This year, she won the newly created KBO Defense Award for second baseman and is a favorite to win the Golden Glove for second baseman again this year. However, he has an affinity for shortstop. Even during this season, Kim expressed his desire to return to shortstop and made a few appearances there, but ultimately moved back to second base.
Shortstop is the most defensive position in the infield. Now that he has solidified himself as a second baseman, he needs to showcase his skills at shortstop to increase his value to American clubs. Kim’s ability to play multiple infield positions seems to be a motivating factor for him.
However, Kim’s aspirations are a bit far from Kiwoom’s reality. Kiwoom has decided that it’s best for Kim Hye-sung to be a mainstay at second base. When she asked to move to a different position this season, it was a difficult decision, and she ended up staying at second base after being asked to play shortstop. Next year, without Lee Jeong-hoo, Kim Hye-sung will have to be the centerpiece of the team. Moving a key player to a different position is not a small change for the team.
Hong said, “(Kim) Hye-sung actually talked about changing positions, saying that she gained a lot as a second baseman and wanted to take on other challenges. We’ll have to think about it. He said, “I personally think it would be better to increase her value as a second baseman because we can’t change the whole team for one person. I told him that nothing has been decided yet, so let’s just prepare well. I’ll have to think about it,” he said.