“We plan to have a conversation after the season.”
KIA concluded a non-FA contract with catcher Kim Tae-gun (34) near the end of the regular season. However, it only put out the fire in a hurry. It is evaluated that the foundation for rebuilding the home room has been laid without repeating the nightmare of Park Dong-won (LG) a year ago. Now that the season is over, we need to start rebuilding the 2023 season in earnest and start preparing for the 2024 season.
First of all, the most important thing is that Choi Hyung-woo and Kim Sun-bin, whose existing free agent contracts have ended, remain. It is unclear whether KIA will seek to recruit external free agents in the 2023-2024 free agent market. However, what is clear is that Choi Hyung-woo and Kim Sun-bin are still needed by KIA, and general manager Shim Jae-hak also recognizes their importance. Although Choi Hyung-woo has one year left until free agency, he is recognized as a candidate for a multi-year contract.
However, Choi Hyeong-woo and Kim Sun-bin are not the only recipients of major contracts. Left-handed outfielder Ko Jong-wook (34) is also eligible for free agency. Jong-wook Ko was released from SSG Landers after the end of the 2021 season. At the time, SSG had good outfield depth, and it was interpreted as a measure taking into account its weakness in defense.
KIA boldly recruited Go Jong-wook. It was after the end of the 2021 season, but before the launch of the New Tigers under former general manager Jang Jeong-seok and coach Kim Jong-guk. KIA’s method of using Go Jong-wook is similar to SSG and Kiwoom Heroes in the past. He was mainly used as a designated hitter or pinch hitter, and was used as a left fielder only in unavoidable situations. The defense is definitely poor.
Instead, Ko Jong-wook’s batting has been poor for the past two years. His colleague Lee Chang-jin said of Ko Jong-wook, “That older brother is a batting genius.” He has a hitting technique that is not far behind key hitters with accuracy and clutch ability such as Choi Hyung-woo, Na Seong-beom, and Kim Sun-bin. He makes good contact and is strong on chances.토토사이트
As can be seen from his career batting average of 0.303, his contact coverage is wide and he does not strike out easily. And he looks quite strong as a pinch hitter. This year’s pinch hitter average is a whopping 0.295. There is not much difference from the season batting average (0.296). Although the range of use seems limited due to the defense, it was a very useful card for coach Kim Jong-kook as he can play as both a starter and substitute. In 114 games, 3 home runs, 39 RBIs, 35 runs, OPS 0.722, scoring average 0.346.
Looking at the adjusted scoring production based on the baseball statistics site StatTees, the 2020-2021 SUS was 83.6 and 80.0, falling short of the league average. However, for the past two years at KIA, it was 110.4 and 104.3. When Choi Hyung-woo and I Seong-beom were injured, he even played the role of a central hitter.
In fact, he was a free agent even after the 2022 season. He was ranked C, so there were no obstacles to his transfer. However, Ko Jong-wook was grateful to KIA for accepting him through a test a year ago and had no intention of changing teams. He gave up his free agency qualifications at the time, but it is unknown whether he will exercise his free agency qualifications or give up his free agency qualifications this time.
What is clear is that KIA is a player that must go together without fail. He is 34 years old, which is not very old. Anyway, KIA has a lot of outfield depth, so Ko Jong-wook’s defensive weaknesses are not felt that much. He played for 50 million won and 70 million won for two years. For KIA, it was a cost-effective ‘ultra-large model’.