The return of the coach who led them to the 2017 title. A hidden message from the club.
The KIA Tigers confirmed and announced their coaching staff for the 2024 season on Tuesday. The head coach of the first and second teams will remain the same. Kim Jong-guk, now in his third year in charge, will lead the first team, while pitching specialist Son Seung-rak will be in charge of the future team.
The pitching staff of the first team will be led by newly hired main coach Jung Jae-hoon and bullpen coach Lee Dong-gul, while the hitting staff will be led by Lee Bum-ho and Hong Se-wan. One name that stands out is Takeshi Nakamura, the new battery coach.
He’s not really a new hire, but a returning one. Takeshi coached catchers at KIA from 2015 to 2018. He was part of the team that won the 2017 championship. 토토사이트 The 2015 season was Kim Ki-tae’s first year in charge.
Originally from Kyoto, Japan, Coach Takeshi is one of the “legendary” catchers of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Junichi Dragons. He played as a starting catcher for over a decade and shared a battery with former Nagoya Suns manager Sun Dong-yeol, who was also playing in Japan at the time.
He began his coaching career in 2006.
His association with the KBO began in 2015 when he became the battery coach at KIA. He spent a lot of time with KIA’s young catchers, including Baek Yong-hwan, Lee Hong-gu, and Shin Beom-soo, as he helped turn around the team’s fortunes from the bottom of the standings.
At the end of the 2018 season, he returned to his hometown team Junichi to coach the first-team Battery, marking his return to a KIA uniform after six years. With Takeshi’s return, Kim Sang-hoon, who served as the first-team battery coach this season, will move to the role of power analysis coach.
The return of the championship-winning coach is a sign of the club’s intention to bring new motivation and a different perspective to the players, especially the catching staff. Kia’s biggest problem right now is its catching staff. Fortunately, the team put out the fire by signing veteran catcher Kim Tae-gun to a multi-year contract worth 3.5 billion won ($2.5 million) in the middle of the 2023 season, but he is also in his mid-30s. Still, the challenge of developing a young catcher who can serve as the next starter and a solid backup to Kim Tae-gun hasn’t gone away.
The reunion was somewhat anticipated when the Kia invited Takeshi as an instructor for the final camp in Okinawa.
“We need someone who can give our players a clear path and show them a vision,” said Kia president Shim Jae-hak, who has been thinking about the composition of the coaching staff in various ways.
In addition to Kim Tae-gun, KIA has young catchers like Han Seung-taek, Han Jun-soo, and Kim Sun-woo, but it’s Joo Hyo-sang that Takeshi needs to focus on the most. The former first-round pick of the Heroes was the top catching prospect in the Seoul area, but he has yet to reach full bloom.
He moved to KIA via trade in November 2022, but his first season didn’t meet expectations. A series of injuries and poor performances meant he wasn’t even called up to the first team until May 13. His first-team numbers are also troubling, with a 6-for-3 record in 19 games (32 at-bats).
Still, Joo Hyo-sang is a catcher with good qualities. He played 80 games for the Heroes in the 2018 season, so he’s no longer an inexperienced young catcher. 바카라사이트 When he was drafted in the first round, many clubs were interested in his qualities as an offensive catcher, but he has yet to find a clear turning point, especially after his move to KIA.
Even when KIA won the 2017 championship, they were able to do so on the back of the success of Kim Min-sik, who was acquired via trade, rather than a homegrown catcher. In effect, the team hasn’t had a successful catcher in over a decade. It’s time for the club, Joo Hyo-sang, and the other catchers to find a new direction. Coach Takeshi’s comeback aims to do just that.