“I’m thinking up to 12 inches.”

Kiwoom Heroes infielder Kim Hwijip, 21, has steadily increased the size of his glove since his professional debut in 2021. He’s now close to 12 inches. Despite being an infielder, he plans to increase his glove size to 12 inches, the size used by outfielders. “I’m wearing a bigger glove now than I did as a rookie,” he said. This year, I’m using 11.8 inches, but I’m thinking about going up to 12 inches,” he said.

Kim has been accumulating defensive innings this year as Kiwoom’s backup shortstop or starting third baseman. It’s one of the most demanding positions in the infield, and the third-year pro has done a good job of holding his own, which is why Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki has kept him around.

Kim is learning a lot every day by watching Major League Baseball’s Edison Russell play shortstop. “There’s a lot to learn from Russell’s defense. Especially the way he handles balls,” Kim said. “Even when a fast hitter comes to the plate, he’s always behind the plate. Even if he’s behind the plate, he’s confident that if he makes a good throw, he can always get (the runner). He always tells me, ‘You can’t rush it,’ too.”

Keum Russell. SportsDongaDB메이저놀이터

“I’ve found that if I focus on the throw rather than trying to do too much after the throw, I’m able to play much more reliable defense. I think it’s more likely to happen with a bigger glove,” he said.

When asked if he could get one of Russell’s gloves, he had a joking answer. Kim said, “Russell wears one glove for a long time. I can’t ask him for another one because I’ve been using that glove for so long,” Kim laughed.

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