Shin Bong-ki has been swinging the bat like a man possessed

The free agent shortstop, who was signed for just 300 million won, is batting .357 with a 1.026 OPS. In the absence of Kim Sang-soo, Shin Bong-ki has been swinging the bat like a man possessed and is showing signs of reaching his second prime after his time with the Lotte Giants.

Shin was the MVP of the Suwon Kiwoom Heroes game on May 25. Starting at shortstop in the No. 9 spot, Shin went 4-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored to lead his team to its third straight win and sixth straight victory over Kiwoom. He got his first multi-hit game with a single to center in the third inning and a single to right in the fifth inning, and then added back-to-back RBI singles with runners on second and third in the sixth inning and second and second in the eighth inning to drive in the game-winning run.

Shin’s four-hit game was his first in 1865 days since April 17, 2019, against the Sasik KIA Tigers, when he was with Lotte.

“Shin had his best offensive performance of the season with four hits and played a crucial role in the win,” said KT manager Lee Kang-cheol. “He’s been playing so well lately. His defense is good, his defense is good, his bat is good. In a way, 안전놀이터 he hit better than (Kim) Sang-soo,” he praised.

Shin realized his professional dream after graduating from Gyeongnam High and Dong-A University and was selected by Lotte with the 14th pick in the second round of the 2012 rookie draft. A one-club man who played 706 games for Lotte, he left Busan via trade in December 2020 to join the Suwon KT Wiz Park. As an experienced multi-infielder, Shin filled in nicely for the injured starters after the move, and earned his first championship ring in Game 3 of the 2021 Korean Series.

After the 2022 season, Shin finally became eligible for free agency for the first time in his career. His preliminary free agency season saw many twists and turns as he batted in the low teens in 74 games, but in January 2023, he signed a 1+1 year, 300 million won contract with his original team, KT. He was given a ‘+1’ contract extension by the club despite a poor batting average of 2.04 in 40 games in the 2023 season.

Shin, who had been a backup since moving to KT, finally got his chance when starting shortstop Kim Sang-soo was placed on the disabled list earlier this month with a micro-damage to his biceps femoris. Shin hasn’t let it go to waste, batting .355 with three home runs, 15 RBI, two doubles, 12 runs scored and a 1.026 OPS in 34 games this season. He’s also 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

In his last 10 games, he is 4-for-3.

“I don’t really know what’s going on,” Shin said recently. I haven’t changed much. I just prepared the same as usual with my own tempo,” he said, adding, ”But I guess that’s baseball. There’s a lot of luck involved, and every time I go out there, I get good results. It’s not like I didn’t prepare well in the past, and it’s not like I prepared well this year,” he said.

Still, it’s true that being a baseball player for a living makes the commute to work much more enjoyable than being a backup. “I enjoy that part because I can get out on the field and play a lot more than sitting on the bench. It’s also much better than being in the second team. The team’s performance is not good right now, and I think it will be more enjoyable if the team’s performance improves.”

Shin said, “The last time I signed a free agent contract, I realized that I was too focused on that, and I tried to show a lot of things in that year. Now, I’m playing with the idea of doing only what I can do today and now. 온라인 슬롯 I’m just trying to get through the day. I’m not thinking about a new contract next year,” he said, showing his mature mindset.

Lee added Kim Sang-soo to the first-team roster after three weeks of rehabilitation on the 26th,

But the No. 9 shortstop spot in the rain-shortened game against Kiwoom was taken by Shin Bong-ki.

“Since (Kim) Sang-soo got injured, I’ve been out a lot, and I’ve been working hard to make sure I don’t feel his absence every time I go out,” Shin said. “Now that he’s back in shape, he has to play his role, and I have a role. I’m going to focus on every moment and do my best,” he said, expressing his expectations for synergy with Kim Sang-soo.

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