In particular, in the case of the KIA Tigers, there is high interest in the first baseman, who has been a disappointment this season. Currently, a heavy hitter named Yang Seok-hwan will be selected as an external free agent next season.
It is true that if Yang Seok-hwan is recruited, KIA will build a strong batting line. However, opinions are rising one after another that it is questionable whether it is necessary to participate in the free agent market to reinforce first basemen at this point. KIA fans are also continuing to debate the pros and cons of the effectiveness of FA recruitment through various communities. There are several reasons.
First, KIA is not a team that lost due to a lack of offensive power this season. Rather, their offensive power was close to the top. In particular, the offensive power shown in August and September was truly terrifying. The KIA Tigers showed such tremendous firepower that they even knocked out 20-win pitcher Eric Fedina, national team member Kwak Bin, and SSG’s foreigner Elias in the early stages. The batting order from number 1 to number 5 was truly an object of fear. And the batting order from 1 to 5 will continue without change next year.메이저사이트
First baseman was not the center of KIA’s attack, and even though the offense at first base was insufficient, KIA’s batting line was powerful. KIA ranked 2nd in overall season batting average after LG, and 2nd in runs scored after LG, and if you look at the second half of the season, it is by far the 1st place. KIA’s batting average in the second half of the season was a whopping 0.292, with 48 home runs, 62 stolen bases, and 385 runs scored, all overwhelmingly ranked first. In particular, the team’s batting average of 0.292 in the second half was 1.5% different from the second place score of 0.277.
It was tremendous firepower bombarding the league. In other words, as long as KIA is fully formed, its scoring power is at a high level.
Second, there is clearly an alternative to first baseman within KIA. First of all, it’s Byun Woo-hyuk. Byun Woo-hyuk is a 23-year-old young infielder who completed his military service. Additionally, I have strong memories of leading the team to victory last year by hitting a 3-run home run from Won Tae-in and a 3-run home run from Jung Woo-ram. Although there are some regrets, the potential appears to be sufficient. (0.225, 7 home runs, 24 RBI, OPS 0.664)
Byun Woo-hyuk is a former third baseman. He also has sufficient strength in first base defense. He is also capable of changing positions from 1st to 3rd base late in the game. In other words, even for position depth, which is KIA’s weakness, Byun Woo-hyuk has an advantage.
If you think that Byun Woo-hyuk is lacking, it is worth looking at the long term and considering having outfielder Lee Woo-sung double his position as first base during spring camp. This is not an issue that is being considered yet. First of all, Lee Woo-sung must agree, and even if he switches, it is possible under the premise that first base defense is above average. Wonjun Choi played both outfielder and first baseman, but felt a great burden in first base defense.
KIA lacks players who can play on base. In fact, there are only Chan-ho Park and Do-young Kim. Therefore, coach Kim Jong-guk is hoping that Choi Won-jun will lead the team from number 1 or number 9. If Lee Woo-sung, who hit .300 this season, can play first base in the closing camp, KIA’s batting line will become more structured.
The power of the track and field team of Wonjun Choi, Doyoung Kim, and Chanho Park was already confirmed last August and September. Additionally, in 2024, the importance of playing baseball has increased with the introduction of AI umpires and pitch clocks. Wonjun Choi means that it is a resource that must be utilized unconditionally.
The third is the celery cap issue. First, KIA acquired catcher Kim Tae-gun for a total of 2.4 billion won for three years. Choi Hyeong-woo and Kim Sun-bin are also considering long-term contracts. Choi Hyung-woo contributed greatly to the team as a leader this season. The same goes for Kim Sunbin. Therefore, it is true that the salary cap is burdensome in order to give them an appropriate amount of money. Above all, if there is competition between multiple teams, it is natural that the free agent amount will be significantly higher.
KIA is a winnow team. Therefore, if you want immediate results, it is better to treat those who can hold the team together and still show good skills well. I don’t know when it will happen, but it can also be positive in preparing for a beautiful breakup in the future.
Lastly, the 20 players compensated for recruiting Grade A free agents is also a burden on KIA. As mentioned above, scoring ability is a strength, not a weakness, but this means that opinions differ as to whether weakening the depth of prospects to complement strengths is the right choice.
Currently, KIA’s biggest problem is selection and finishing. Starting pitcher WAR is the lowest. The starting pitcher’s ERA is also at the bottom (9th), and according to Stats, WAR is at the bottom. In other words, KIA’s top priority is not recruiting free agents, but selecting good mercenary pitchers. This is most important.
In addition, we need to create a 5th starter who has been in trouble all season. The revival of Jung Hae-young, who had been sluggish throughout the season, is also an important task.
Meanwhile, a KIA Tigers official said, “It’s not something we can say right now.” “It’s something we’ll have to think about after the Korean series is over,” he said, sparing his words.