The Kia Tigers will return to Korea via Incheon Airport on the afternoon of the 28th, after a wrap-up camp in Okinawa, Japan.
The wrap-up camp, which began on the 1st of this month, was aimed at upgrading the team’s strength through strengthening physical fitness, skills, and depth. In particular, five rookies from the 2024 rookie class participated in the camp and completed their quenching for their professional debut.
In addition, new pitching coaches Jung Jae-hoon and Lee Dong-gul worked with the team for the first time. Coaching staff and players put their heads together
The team also practiced to prepare for the pitch clock rule that will be introduced in the KBO starting in the 2024 season.
Coach Kim Jong-guk, who led the camp, said, “It was the first overseas finishing camp in five years, and I am satisfied that all the players were able to finish the camp well in good weather and without any major injuries. All the players who participated in this camp have upgraded their skills, which will be very helpful for the team’s strength next year.
the team’s strength next year.”
Commenting on the camp, Coach Kim Jong-guk said, “I think the training results were great because all the players came to this camp with a good awareness of what they lacked this season and what they need for next season. Unlike last year, this camp also included experienced players such as Lee Chang-jin, Lee Woo-sung, and Park Jun-pyo, so the training intensity was higher. It was also encouraging for the younger players to see the senior players leading by example and learn from them.” “With four days of training and one day of rest, the training volume was higher than ever, but I am satisfied that we were able to finish without any major injuries. The coaching staff, the players, and the front office that organized the camp did a great job.”
As for who stood out the most in the camp, Kim said, “It wasn’t one player in particular, but all the players did well and showed improvement. Lee Woo-sung adapted well to the first base defense drills for the first time, and Park Joon-pyo, who has had a tough time with injuries and slumps in the last two years, led the pitching group and did well.”
There are also concerns about the deterioration of the infield due to the injuries of Park Chan-ho, Kim Do-young, and Hwang Dae-in. “Our main focus in this camp was to strengthen our infield depth,” said Kim. Jeong Jung-won, who has been playing regular at-bats in the Futures League this year, has grown even more through this camp, and rookie Kim Doo-hyun has shown enough promise in defense. Byun Woo-hyuk and Kim Kyu-hyun are also working on their weaknesses in the batting order with concise swings, and Park Min, who has been playing in the Australian League, is showing steady play. So far, we are preparing well as planned,” he said.
Finally, Kim said, “The final camp is just the beginning. I think it’s even more important how we prepare and build our bodies from now until spring training. I hope that not only the players who participated in the camp, but also the entire squad will not neglect their personal training during the off-season and prepare well for next season,” he said.