In order to acquire a promising pitcher, he gave up two ‘super backups’. But now there is nothing left for the Lotte Giants.
On the 21st, Lotte handed over sidearm Lee Kang-jun (22) to the Kiwoom Heroes as compensation for pitcher Han Hyeon-hee (30), who was recruited as a free agent. Lee Kang-joon was selected by Kiwoom as he was scheduled to enlist in the Sangmu baseball team on May 8.
Lee Kang-jun, who graduated from Seorak Middle School and Seorak High School and joined KT Wiz in 2020, has a speed of over 150 km/h for a sidearm. He also boasts a powerful pitch due to the large movement of his two-seam fastball.
Accordingly, at KT, expectations were so high that Lee Kang-cheol (57), the same submarine pitcher, coached the team himself. At the time of 2020, coach Lee commented, “The velocity has increased a lot. It would be nice to add one falling ball.”
Lotte salivated at Lee Kang-joon, who showed potential even though he did not achieve results in the first team. Eventually, at the end of July 2021, Lotte succeeded in bringing catcher Kim Joon-tae (29) and infielder Oh Yoon-seok (31) and bringing Lee Kang-joon.
The two players who were handed over to KT were players who had a lot of opportunities and leaped to the starting level in the previous year. Kim Jun-tae played 128 games in 2020, batting average 0.225, 5 home runs, 43 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.671. With Na Gyun-an (25) injured and pitcher conversion, he overcame competition with Ji-wan Ji (29) for the starting position.
Oh Yoon-seok also achieved a batting average of 0.298, 4 homers, 32 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.811 in 63 games in the 2020 season. In particular, on October 4th, Sajik achieved his 27th cycling hit in history. He performed like Altoran, digesting all positions in the infield except for shortstop.
However, both players’ opportunities have declined in 2021. Kim Joon-tae was in danger of losing playing time as Ahn Joong-yeol (28, current NC) was discharged from the Sangmu baseball team, and Oh Yoon-seok’s opportunity was also reduced as the team signed a two-year extension contract with An Chi-hong (33). In the end, KT, who was trying to win the regular season, gave up Lee Kang-jun and brought the two to strengthen depth. 스포츠토토
After the transfer, Oh Yoon-seok supported second baseman Park Gyeong-soo (39), who was in a slump, and Kim Jun-tae also played a backup role for Jang Seong-woo (33). The two, who were included in the Korean Series entry, got the first championship ring of their careers side by side.
On the other hand, Lee Kang-jun did not show a clear growth trend. Last season, he appeared in 13 games and had an ERA of 10.24 per hold without a win or loss. He suffered from pitch hunting, giving up as many as 20 walks in 9⅔ innings. In the end, he left for Kiwoom without being included in the list of 20 players protected by FA compensation.
As a result, the trade in July 2021 resulted in nothing left for Lotte. Although there are starting pitchers in this position, Yoo Kang-nam (catcher) and Ahn Chi-hong (second baseman), Kim Jun-tae and Oh Yoon-seok were decent players as backups, which could have weakened their depth.
On the other hand, Koh Hyung-wook, general manager of Kiwoom who selected Lee Kang-joon as a reward player, told Star News, “He was the top player among the list we selected.” said.