As of July 18, Kim, who is in his second season in the major leagues, was hitting .227/.299/.277, a huge dropoff from 2016 where he hit .302/.382/.420. Due to the crowded platoon situation in Baltimore’s outfield this season, he has also seen a decrease in playing time, making it harder to find opportunities to do well and increase his confidence.
|Baltimore Orioles outfielder Kim Hyun-soo high-fives teammates after scoring in a game on July 9, 2017. (Yonhap)|
Kim has also been given some chances as a pinch hitter, but his results have not been good, especially compared with last year. He is hitting a mere .133 (2-for-15) in pinch-hit appearances, a slippery slope which makes it hard to get him more chances.
Showalter is quick to praise Kim for his work ethic, despite his struggles, calling him a “professional” and saying that “[Kim] always puts his work in. I think there are a lot of people who are pulling for him today.” He also said he plans to give Kim more pinch-hit opportunities so he can get more swings in.
Showalter described Kim as the kind of player who you can always count on to do what needs to be done. What Kim needs to do now is to work on seizing the opportunities he’s given, confident that he has a patient and supportive manager behind him and that the results will come.
By Alex Park / Intern reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)