Ahead of the 2023 KBO League, LG has significantly changed the composition of the field team in the Stove League. After joining LG and debuting as a pro, starting catcher Yu Gang-nam and first baseman Chae Eun-seong, who had been working exclusively for LG, each obtained FA qualifications and transferred to the Lotte Giants and Hanwha Eagles.
Yoo Kang-nam’s void was filled by recruiting another free agent catcher, Park Dong-won, for a total of 6.5 billion won over four years. However, Chae Eun-seong’s void has no choice but to be resolved internally by LG. For LG, Lee Jae-won, who was an outfielder until last year and canceled his enlistment at Sangmu, will be converted to first baseman.
With Austin Dean, a newly contracted foreign batter, taking over right field, the outfield composition changes overall. Hong Chang-ki, who was right fielder last year, will move to left field. Veteran Kim Hyeon-soo, who was the main left fielder, takes on the designated hitter.
Kim Hyun-soo made a U-turn in the major leagues ahead of the 2018 season and moved to LG with a 4-year FA contract worth 11.5 billion won. While LG had an abundance of outfielders, it lacked professional first basemen. Even if they recruited a foreign first baseman, they failed every time due to sluggishness and injuries.
Therefore, it was not that there were no attempts to entrust Kim Hyun-soo to the first baseman. However, at the end of the 2018 season, against Suwon kt Wiz on September 4, Kim Hyun-soo injured his ankle while defending first base and was out for the season. LG, which Kim Hyun-soo left due to an unexpected injury, fell to 8th place and was frustrated in advancing to the postseason. Even after that, Kim Hyeon-soo took over as first baseman several times, but strangely, his batting pace dropped when he wore a first baseman’s mitt.
It remains to be seen what results Kim Hyun-soo’s transition to designated hitter will lead to this season. It is true that evaluations have been raised that the left field defense of Kim Hyun-soo, who was born in January 1988 and turned 35, is not the same as before. While using Jamsil Stadium, which has the widest outfield in the KBO league, as home, there was a lack of judgment and fielding range.
As LG has an abundance of outfielders, the picture that Kim Hyun-soo does not take charge of the outfield defense was the outcome that would come someday. The process of turning a veteran hitter into a designated hitter is, in a way, a natural phenomenon. After retiring from LG at the end of the 2020 season, Park Yong-taek, whose back number 33 was permanently deleted, was converted from an outfielder to a professional designated hitter and walked the same path. It can also help Kim Hyun-soo, who will participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, arrange his physical strength for the regular season of the KBO League.
However, if a player who has maintained a batting rhythm while playing defense is converted to a designated hitter, it may be difficult to maintain a sense of the bat. Due to the use of a professional designated hitter, it may be difficult to arrange the physical strength of the rest of the fielders. 안전놀이터 It is expected that the operation of LG Director Yeom Gyeong-yeop, who took the new baton, will be needed. Sometimes Kim Hyun-soo can play left field and another fielder can take over as designated hitter.
Ahead of the 2022 season, Kim Hyun-soo signed a 6-year free agency contract for a total of 11.5 billion won, effectively making a reservation for the “Long Life LG Man”. The total amount of free agency in LG became 23 billion won over 10 years. Attention is focusing on whether Kim Hyun-soo will win the championship ring this year by resolving LG’s desire to win the championship for the first time in 29 years.