Kim Jae-ho (Doosan Bears) is a franchise star who joined Doosan in the first round of the 2004 draft and has been with the organization ever since. He has spent 18 seasons in the first team, excluding his time in the military, and has posted a career .274 batting average and .726 OPS in 1717 games.
Over the past two seasons, Kim’s batting pace has dropped. In 2021, he hit .209 OPS with 44 hits, one home run, 24 RBI, 23 runs scored, and a .567 batting average in 89 games, and last season he finished with a .215 OPS with 48 hits, one home run, 21 RBI, 26 runs scored, and a .564 batting average in 102 games.
This season, however, Kim’s bat has been hot. In 72 games, he has 63 hits, three home runs, 25 RBIs, 28 runs scored, and a .337 OPS of 0.863. He came alive in June with 13 hits, one home run, three RBIs, and a .325 OPS of 0.788, and in August he went on a tear with 27 hits, two home runs, 12 RBIs, 19 runs scored, and a .435 OPS of 1.135. He’s slowed down a bit in September, but is still hitting .286 with eight doubles, one home run, six RBIs, three runs scored, and a .808 OPS. 스포츠토토
Kim Jae-ho’s performance against the Hanwha Eagles at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Sept. 12 was another highlight. Kim batted second and played shortstop, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs in the team’s 8-3 win.
In the bottom of the second inning, with runners on first and second and one out, Jae-ho stepped up to the plate for his second hit of the game. He hit a four-seam fastball from Lee Tae-yang, but the pitch was slightly off and landed in the upper right field corner. Kim Jae-ho’s lucky hit extended the lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the score tied at 3-3, Kim Jae-ho had a chance to load the bases. The new pitcher, Lee Min-woo, gave up a run on a wild pitch. With runners on second and third, Kim Jae-ho hit a sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run. In the eighth inning, with the score 7-3, Kim drove in the winning run with an RBI single with two outs.
When asked about Kim’s performance on the 13th, manager Lee Seung-yeop said, “He’s good,” and then added, “He had some lucky hits. Our batting average is a little low in scoring chances, and that’s always been a concern, so it would be best if we hit, but we scored a run with a sacrifice fly, which was simple and not difficult.”
The 38-year-old veteran shortstop has rejuvenated. Doosan is in sixth place with 60 wins, one tie and 57 losses. They are 1.5 games behind the fifth-place KIA Tigers (60 wins, 2 ties, 54 losses). There’s still hope for fall baseball. It will be interesting to see if Kim Jae-ho can lead Doosan to the postseason for the first time in two years.