Overcoming his stature and signing FA 2 times… Kia’s little giant, “I feel proud”

“Little Giant” Kim Sun-bin (KIA Tigers), who overcame his short stature with his skills, signed his second FA contract this winter.

Kim Sun-bin signed a three-year total of 3 billion won (600 million won in down payment, 1.8 billion won in annual salary, and 600 million won in options) with his original team KIA on the 4th of last month. It was the second FA contract since 2020, and the terms at that time were 4 billion won (1.6 billion won in down payment, 1.8 billion won in annual salary, and 600 million won in options).

Kim, who joined Kia as the 43rd pick in the sixth round and the second round of the 2008 Rookie of the Year draft, showed his potential to grow from his first year to 112 games and 278 at-bats for 71 hits, with a batting average of 0.255 with 24 RBIs and five steals, with an OPS of 0.607 (on-base plus slugging percentage). In the following year, he played 72 games and recorded 34 hits in 116 at-bats for a batting average of 0.293, with six RBIs and eight steals with an OPS of 0.742. His height (165 centimeters) was relatively lower than that of other players, but it did not matter at all.

As 2010 passed, Kim had many more opportunities. Notably, he made his name known in 2017 alone. Kim returned from his military athletic unit in 137 games with 476 at-bats for a batting average of 0.370 with five homers, 64 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.897 with four steals. After winning his first career batting champion title, he made five hits in 14 at-bats for a 0.357 RBI in the Korean Series against the Doosan Bears in the same year, contributing greatly to his team’s V11 performance.

Kim, who faithfully played the role he was assigned to him even after signing his first free agent contract, suffered from ankle pain, a broken thumb on his right hand, and a hamstring injury last year. However, he did his best despite his poor physical condition, and served as captain for the second consecutive year following 2022. The team could not ignore Kim’s contribution.

“I don’t think I feel any more responsibility because I signed an FA contract. All players are in the ballpark with a sense of responsibility and play. All players have the same sense of responsibility,” Kim said.

Still, he has pride in signing two FA contracts. “In the beginning, there was a lot of talk about whether a short player would be able to join the professional league and play for a long time, but I feel proud just to have signed two FA contracts,” Kim said. “There is no secret. I think it is important to be consistent because I have to get good results in the first team to become an FA.”

Kim Sun-bin also receives a lot of attention outside the game. Starting with a donation of 10 million won to children from crisis families in 2019, he is actively engaged in sharing activities, such as donating baseball supplies to his alma mater Hwasun Middle School. On the 23rd of last month, he visited the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Office of Education and delivered 20 million won of the “Cheering Fund for Cultivating Dreamers of Baseball” to the Jeju Nam Elementary School baseball team.

Kim Sun-bin said, “My wife told me to donate a lot, and I’m always donating once after the season. There’s no reason for me to reject that, and I’m just doing what my wife wants me to do.” 꽁머니지급

Kia is maintaining a calm atmosphere despite the absence of its head coach. “There is no big difference. I think the atmosphere is good because captain (B) Sung-beom is leading the mood and senior players are supporting Sung-beom,” Kim Sun-bin said.

KIA’s goal to win the autumn baseball championship has not changed. Kim Sun-bin said, “My physical condition is very good. I think it will be possible without any injured players. It’s a pity that I couldn’t go to the fall baseball last year, but I’ll be okay if no players get injured.”

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