Fill gaps and maintain strengths… ‘Jeongjungdong’ KT, calmly preparing for the new season

Reporter Kwon Hyeok-joon = I did not reinforce my power by investing a lot of money. However, he filled the gaps and maintained his existing strengths and still maintained the power of last season. KT Wiz’s off-season can be summarized as ‘Jungjung-dong’ (靜中動), which has reinforced its power to the fullest as if it were quiet.

KT, ahead of the 2023 season, does not have a significant change in power. The biggest breakaway was the enlistment of shortstop Shim Woo-jun in the military, but there were almost no other breakaways.

Making up for that was a top priority for the offseason. And KT faithfully implemented the strategy and filled the gaps.

First, they recruited free agent infielder Kim Sang-soo (33) for a total of 2.9 billion won over four years. Kim Sang-soo is a stable infielder who can play both shortstop and second baseman. Not only Shim Woo-jun’s vacant seat, but also 39-year-old veteran second baseman Park Kyung-soo’s seat can be left.

In addition to Kim Sang-soo, there were also Noh Jin-hyeok (NC → Lotte), Park Min-woo (NC retention), and Oh Seon-jin (Samsung → Hanwha) in the free agency market this time. However, among them, KT decided to recruit Kim Sang-soo, who is considered a ‘quasi-cheok class’. Kim Sang-soo, who is relatively less competitive and has outstanding defense, was also the best puzzle for KT.

Kim Sang-soo can take over the second baseman and shortstop positions while Shim Woo-jun is away. If Shim Woo-jun is discharged, he can form a ‘keystone combination’ together.

Another FA contract was left on the condition of 1 + 1 year, total amount of 300 million won on the 10th for Shin Bong-gi (34), an infielder of the team. As a free agent with relatively low attention, the total contract amount is also the smallest among those announced so far.

Shin Bong-gi is a utility player who can play all positions in the infield, and after being traded from the Lotte Giants, he filled the vacancy whenever it was important for the past two years. As expected, KT’s weakness is the infielder due to Shim Woo-jun’s vacancy and Park Kyung-soo, who has become difficult to digest full-time. The role of veteran Shin Bong-gi, who can hold out until young players grow up, is not small.

KT, which has almost the same lineup of domestic players, showed conservative movements in the composition of foreign players. Last season, out of the three foreign players, I renewed the contract with the other two except for Audrey Samer Despine. It is a move in contrast to last year’s combined champion SSG Landers, which replaced all three foreign players (Sean Morrimando, Juan Lagares, and Wilmer Font) who performed well. 토토사이트

Renewed foreign pitcher Wes Benjamin and outfielder Anthony Alford are both ‘replacement foreign players’ who joined KT in the middle of last season.

Benjamin went 5-4 with a 2.70 ERA in 17 games, while Alford had a batting average of 0.286 with 14 homers and 50 RBIs in 80 games. It was not overwhelming, but KT showed the belief that they would do better in 2023 when they finished adapting to the KBO league.

In fact, KT has also experienced a ‘jackpot’ by renewing a contract with an alternative foreigner. After renewing the contract with Mel Rojas Jr., who was recruited as a substitute foreigner in 2017, KT stayed with him until 2020. In 2020, Rojas raged with a batting average of 0.349, 47 home runs and 135 RBIs, and after receiving MVP, he left after receiving a “love call” from Japanese professional baseball.

KT, who won the first integrated championship in 2021, struggled with injuries to the main players in 2022, but rebounded in the second half and took 4th place. Although they lost to Kiwoom Heroes in the semi-playoffs, it was enough to show the potential of the defending champion.

And in the 2023 season, KT also chose stability rather than change. KT’s ‘Jungjung-dong’ move was also an unavoidable choice, as coach Lee Kang-cheol was forced to spend a busy year as the national team’s command tower.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *