Last winter, a great move was made as the noble body ‘Madam’ came out as a free agent (FA). The catcher is the ‘master of the house’ in charge of the team’s housekeeping, such as getting on the mound and reading the pitcher’s pitching poorly, and adjusting the defensive position according to the hitter. For a top catcher, it is an important position enough to be called ‘half of the power’.
Catcher transfer students are Yang Eui-ji (36, Doosan), Park Se-hyeok (33, NC), Yoo Gang-nam (31, Lotte), and Park Dong-won (33, LG). Yang Eui-ji returned to Doosan, his home team from NC, and NC filled the void left by Yang Eui-ji by recruiting Park Se-hyuk. Doosan and NC’s master of the house exchange.
Yang Eui-ji is considered the best catcher in the league. He is top of both offense and defense. In fact, he recorded 121 hits, 20 home runs, and 94 RBIs in 130 games last year with a batting average of 0.283. In addition, based on catchers who played more than 700 innings, the stolen base rate was 42.2%, ranking first in this category. He played in 7 exhibition games this year and was sluggish with a batting average of 0.188 (3 hits in 16 at-bats), but the lid needs to be opened to know in the regular season. As he, who led the old Doosan Dynasty, returned to Jamsil after four years, attention is focusing on whether he will lead Doosan’s fall baseball this year.
NC recruited Park Se-hyeok to fill the void left by Yang Eui-ji. Park Se-hyuk, who joined Doosan in 2012, played in 782 games and recorded a batting average of 0.259, 24 home runs, and 259 RBIs, an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.688. He is also the main player who led Doosan’s combined victory in 2019. His post-season and short-term experience is also rich. Park Se-hyeok participated in 10 demonstration games this year and has good momentum with a batting average of 0.292 (7 hits in 24 bats). Here, at the beginning of the season, he plays the role of the team’s table setter as the ‘number 2 hitter’. NC, which is evaluated as a low-ranking power before the season, is the key to the rebound.
Lotte got rid of the worries of the main catcher by bringing in the new hostess, Yoo Gang-nam. Lotte played the season without a starting catcher after franchise star Kang Min-ho left for Samsung in 2018. It has been pointed out as the biggest weakness. Prospective players put out a challenge, but they failed to gain solid trust. More than any other team, Lotte desperately needed home improvement. With the recruitment of Yoo Kang-nam, he is aiming for the fall for the first time in 6 years since 2017.
LG, which sent Yoo Kang-nam, recruited Park Dong-won from KIA and minimized the gap in the homeroom. LG held Park Dong-won in its arms with a total of 6.5 billion won for four years. Not a bad start at LG. He played in 14 exhibition games this year and had a batting average of 0.265 (9 hits in 34 at-bats), 1 home run, 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored. However, it was reported on the 29th that during the negotiation process with KIA, the team leader demanded ‘money and valuables’ from him. The key is for him to make up his mind as soon as possible and show a stable appearance in the season.
SSG main catcher Lee Jae-won (36), who gave up his FA rights last year, is set out to restore his honor. Lee Jae-won, who joined the SK Wyverns (now SSG) as the first nomination in 2006, has been steadily active as the team’s host since the 2014 season. He led the team to win the Korean Series in 2018 and signed a 4-year, 6.9 billion won free agent contract. But since then, his expectations have not been met. He played in 105 games last year and had a batting average of only 0.201. He chose to remain in the team, giving up his free agent rights due to his lower-than-expected performance. I look forward to a signal flare of honor recovery this year.
KIA, where Park Dong-won left, is competing for the position. While Han Seung-taek, the former backup catcher, was given another opportunity, Joo Hyo-sang, who was recruited through a trade, emerged as a competitor. There is interest in whether the two catchers will make a living for KIA’s second consecutive fall baseball this year.
In addition, Samsung has veteran Kang Min-ho,스포츠토토 main backup Kim Tae-gun, and promising player Kim Jae-seong. It was planned to operate as a 3 catcher system, but as Kim Jae-seong was injured, Kang Min-ho and Kim Tae-gun are expected to take charge of Samsung’s home.
KT is reassured by starting catcher Seong-Woo Jang and back-up catchers Joon-Tae Kim and Hyeon-Woo Kang, who showed good performances in the offense and defense last year. In addition, Choi Jae-hoon, who transferred to Hanwha as a free agent last year, will be in charge of the housekeeping, and Kiwoom will have a heavy burden on Ji-young Lee, the national catcher of the WBC (World Baseball Classic).