Before the season, no expert could have predicted the 33-year-old infielder’s performance. The clock is ticking backward for KT Wiz’s Kim Sang-soo, 33.
Kim Sang-soo started at shortstop in the leadoff spot against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Friday and went 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs, and two runs scored to lead his team to victory.
The game was expected to be a hard-fought matchup between two teams with the highest winning percentage in their last 10 games. KT used Kim Sang-soo to push LG from the outset, winning 8-4 to extend their winning streak to four games.
Kim Sang-soo’s bat was off to an uncharacteristic start in the first inning. After watching a 142-kilometer fastball from Im Chan-kyu in the first inning, he took a 111-kilometer slower curveball in the second inning for a hit. However, a closer look at the play reveals how good Kim’s batting pace has been this season. There was no sign of panic from the slower curveball, which had more than 30 kilometers of velocity difference. Sang-soo showed his timing skills by hitting a leg kick and then hitting the ground with his left foot once more to match the slower delivery. He then made a clean hit to left field. In this situation, most batters would collapse and lose their bat, but Kim’s response was perfect.토토사이트
In the eighth inning, Masu-geul hit a home run to prove that her performance this season was no fluke. With two outs in the top of the eighth, she pulled a 133-kilometer slider from LG’s Oh Seok-ju and launched a 110-meter two-run arch over the left field fence. The home run virtually sealed the win for KT.
In the third inning, he surprised everyone with his quick feet. After leading off the inning with a single, Kim Sang-soo moved to third on a single by Kim Min-hyuk, and then scored on Alford’s grounder to first base. It was reminiscent of his 2014 season, when he led the league in stolen bases with 53.
Kim’s performance continued the next day. In the 6th game, KT lost an upset 7-8, but Sang-soo dazzled. He started at shortstop, batting second, and went 5-for-5 with three doubles, two RBIs, and one run scored.
Kim became a free agent for the second time last winter, signing a four-year, 2.9 billion won deal with KT. He had been labeled an aging curveball after injuries and poor play limited him to 72 games last season. After hitting a career-high 0.304 in 2020, Kim hit just 0.235 in 2021 and 0.251 in 2022, but he bounced back perfectly with KT.
This season, Kim is batting .311 with 74 hits, 30 doubles, 34 RBI, five home runs, 30 stolen bases, a .390 OPS and a .760 slugging percentage in 69 games. His wRC+ is a whopping 125.2. All of his hitting metrics are better than his career numbers, and he’s on pace for career highs. He’s literally at his peak right now.
The 33-year-old infielder, who switched uniforms 15 years after his professional debut and is a two-time free agent, has defied the aging curveballs that have been thrown his way as he enters his 30s. Both offensively and defensively, he has become a treasure for KT.