“KIA is very serious…” The winning coach also said, “Reflecting on the best three teams,” and even a 153km-old foreign fireballer was in his arms

KIA, which is aiming to make another leap forward in the 2024 season, is steadily working on strengthening its power. It has accelerated its preparation for the season by recruiting a foreign pitcher for fireballers.

KIA Tigers officially announced on the 7th that it has recruited Will Crowe, who has full-time experience as a starter in the U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB), as a new foreign pitcher for a total of $1 million. As a result, KIA, which signed a contract with Socrates for a total of $1.2 million, has even hired Crowe, leaving only one new foreign pitcher to recruit.헤라카지노

Will Crowe was selected by the Washington Nationals as the 65th overall pick in the second round in the 2017 rookie draft. Kia fans have high expectations for Crowe, who brought in 1 million U.S. dollars. Crowe is a right-handed pitcher who boasts 185 centimeters tall and 108 kilograms of physique. He played in four seasons in the Major League and five seasons in the Minor League (hereinafter referred to as Triple-A). In the Big League, he played in 94 games (29 starts), recording 10 wins, 21 losses, 16 saves, and an ERA of 5.30. He has a maximum speed of 153 kilometers.

Kia has been making moves in the off-season. Kia’s general manager, Shim Jae-hak, is drawing attention as he is busier than anyone else in the stove league. In fact, Kia has already aggressively started recruiting players to advance to the postseason from the last 2022 season. The signal was Na Sung-bum. Kia has strengthened its outfielders and slugging capability by signing a six-year contract with Na Sung-bum, who was able to establish himself as a franchise star with the NC Dinos ahead of the 2022 season, for a total of 15 billion won, including a down payment of 6 billion won, an annual salary of 6 billion won, and an option of 3 billion won. However, Kia had to accept its unsatisfactory report card in the 2022 season. It successfully advanced to the postseason in four years by ranking fifth in the regular season, but played only one game. At that time, it bowed its head after losing 2-6 in the first game of the wild card game against the KT Wiz.

Then, the 2023 season is over. However, the 2023 season was not easy, either. With LG, SSG, and Lotte forming a three-team structure early in the season, Kia could hardly join the upper ranks. In May, when the season was in full swing, former team leader Jang Jung-seok left the team due to unfavorable circumstances, and Shim Jae-hak was newly appointed. At the end of June, the team fell to ninth place out of 10 teams. Injuries to key players including Kim Sun-bin and Jung Hae-young were painful. Ultimately, Kia failed to advance to the post season by ranking sixth with 73 wins, two draws and 69 losses with a 0.514 winning rate.

Analysts say that the vacancy in the home turf was bigger than anything else. Ahead of the 2023 season, Kia sent Park Dong-won to the LG Twins without holding an FA. From the beginning of the 2023 season, Han Seung-taek (29), Joo Hyo-sang (26), and Shin Bum-soo (25) all took turns wearing a catcher mask, but failed to secure the starting position for sure. KIA manager Kim Jong-guk also said during the season, “It will be difficult to single out for sure who to pick. Now, catchers who frequently play games are the main players.” Still, the coach showed faith in the team. However, the home turf issue has hardly been resolved, and Shim Jae-hak, the team’s general manager, took the lead. The result was recruitment of catcher Kim Tae-gun through trade. At the time, Kia made a one-on-one trade to receive catcher Kim Tae-gun instead of sending infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk to Samsung.

Kim, who had a batting average of 0.256, one homer, 18 RBIs, seven runs scored, a slugging percentage of 0.328 and an on-base percentage of 0.329 in 49 games prior to the trade, jumped to the starting lineup immediately after moving to the Kia Tigers. As a veteran catcher, he led younger juniors. Although Kia was eliminated from the postseason, Kim Tae-gun finished the year with a batting average of 0.257 (78 hits in 303 times at bat), one homer, 40 RBIs, 29 strikeouts, a slugging percentage of 0.300, an on-base percentage of 0.306, and an OPS of 0.606. Furthermore, Kia successfully signed a multi-year contract with Kim last year. Kia officially announced in October last year that it signed a three-year contract with Kim for a total of 2.5 billion won (2.3 million U.S. dollars), including 2 billion won (approx. A graduate of Yang Jeong-elementary, Daedong Middle School, and Busan High School, Kim has not been a star player in the mainstream in recent years. However, as a “mainstream” backup catcher, he always garnered attention from other teams. Above all, he has a reputation as a defensive catcher. In fact, as he played with national catchers such as Yang Eui-ji (Doosan Bears) and Kang Min-ho (Samsung Lions), he had few chances to play. Nevertheless, his previous teams also had a reason to sit down Kim Tae-gun, because they needed his value. And he was recognized for his true value in KIA.

It was a real signal. During a baseball feast in autumn, Kia focused on strengthening its power and capacity with such firm commitment. The next primary goal was to establish an internal FA team. First, Ko Jong-wook signed with Kia. Kia announced in November last year that it had signed a two-year contract with fast-paced outfielder Ko Jong-wook for a total of 500 million won (500 million U.S. dollars), including a down payment of 100 million won, an annual salary of 150 million won, and an option of 100 million won. After Jeon Joon-woo of the Lotte Giants and An Chi-hong of the Hanwha Eagles, Ko Jong-wook was released from SSG Landers in late 2021. Through the test, he joined the Kia Tigers’ uniform and played mostly as a pinch hitter or pinch runner for the 2022 season, posting a batting average of 0.283, two homers and 14 RBIs and an OPS of 0.752 in 62 games. He became an FA after the end of the 2022 season, but chose to retake the team without exercising his right. This became a great move in the end.

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