Can Park Jin-man’s crown prince awaken?

Samsung Lions infielder Kang Kang-ul went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs in a game against the KT Wiz Futures of the 2023 KBO Futures League at Gyeongsan Stadium on Nov. 11, starting at second base and batting third. It was the first time in the Futures League that Kang had three hits in a game this season, and the first time for the Futures as a whole.

With the bases loaded in the first inning, Kang hit a cool double to right-center field. After hitting a single up the middle in his second at-bat in the third inning, he followed it up with a single to right in his third at-bat in the fourth inning. Kang, who went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, was replaced by Park Jang-min in the top of the sixth inning.

Kang has struggled at the plate this season. In 26 games with the first team this season, he is batting .174 with 15 hits, one home run, and 12 RBIs. He returned to the first team after a brief stint in the second team in April, but he hasn’t rebounded easily. After the Incheon SSG Landers game on April 2, he was sent down to the second team due to cold symptoms.

He didn’t perform well in the Futures League either. Before today’s appearance, he was just 2-for-13 in five games in the Futures League this season. His batting average is just 0.154.

Since August of last season, Kang has hit .371 with 53 hits, one home run and 20 RBIs. He also batted fourth in the lineup for the first time in his career and received the most spotlight after his debut. In the season opener, Samsung’s No. 4 hitter was also strong.

However, he hasn’t been able to continue 메이저사이트 his momentum from last season and hasn’t been performing well this season, much to the chagrin of Samsung manager Park Jin-man.

Park recently said, “Last year, he was good at handling situations. Nowadays, his swing on two strikes is good, but he often makes ridiculous swings. Kang is a contact hitter, not a home run hitter. He wants the pitcher to throw a lot of pitches, keep cutting, and somehow get him on base, but it’s not happening,” he said.

“I’m sure you’re thinking about a lot of things, and you’re under a lot of stress. It’s a big year, so there’s a lot of pressure. At this point, it’s not a technical issue. It’s more psychological than technical,” he said of his slump. Kang will be eligible for free agency after this season.

If Kang returns to his form from last season, Samsung’s batting lineup will get a boost. The day before, captain first baseman Oh Jae-il announced his comeback. Could his three hits be a sign of a rebound?

Manager Park Jin-man said, “I’m not feeling well. We didn’t have enough time to practice, so we need time to make sure we’re in good shape.”

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