KT Wiz continues to collect infielders. Can the No. 1 hitter in the Futures League inspire strength?
On the 19th, kt announced a 1:1 trade with the Lotte Giants. They sent left-handed pitcher Shim Jae-min (29) and recruited right-handed left-hander Lee Ho-yeon (28) from Lotte.
Lee Ho-yeon wore a Lotte uniform with the 53rd overall in the 2nd 6th round of the 2018 KBO League Rookie Draft. After debuting in the first team in the 2020 season, he has a batting average of 0.241 (52 hits in 216 bats), 2 homers, 17 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.610 in 96 games.
In the Futures League this season,안전놀이터 he has a batting average of 0.433 (29 hits in 67 at-bats), 3 home runs, 17 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.187, showing a sense of high hitting. His batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage are among the best in both leagues.
Since last year, kt has been collecting infielders. In the middle of last season, they acquired Jang Jun-won (28) through a trade with the LG Twins. In the 2023 KBO League rookie draft, Son Min-seok (19) from Gyeongnam High School and Ryu Hyun-in (23) from Dankook University were nominated.
It didn’t stop there, and after the season ended, he signed a contract with Kim Sang-soo (33) for a total of 2.9 billion won for 4 years and a 1+1 free agent contract with Shin Bong-ki (34) for a total of 300 million won. Lee Sang-ho (34), who was excluded from the reserve list by LG, also received a blood transfusion after undergoing a joining test.
The infield was filled with various players, but the results were not satisfactory. Jang Jun-won suffered a torn cruciate ligament last season and was out of the season early. Kim Sang-soo is performing well, but Shin Bong-ki and Lee Sang-ho are not performing as well as expected. Rookie-level Son Min-seok and Ryu Hyeon-in, and Kang Min-seong (24), who joined after being discharged from the military, lack first-team experience.
As a result, several problems arose. Kim Sang-soo has not been able to rest a single game since the opening and has been playing in every game. Another veteran, Park Kyung-soo (39), is similarly struggling with physical problems. The infield is in need of vitality.
▲ Lee Ho-yeon has the advantage of being able to take on all positions in the infield. ⓒLotte Giants
In this situation, Lee Ho-yeon’s joining is positive. He has first-team experience and can play all positions in the infield, so he is very useful. It is a card that can sufficiently revitalize a team lineup with many injuries.
Immediately after the trade, kt general manager Na-Hyun Na said, “Lee Ho-yeon, who has experience in the first team, is an infield resource recognized for his batting ability by ranking high in key batting indicators such as batting average and on-base percentage in the Futures League this season.” We are expecting a synergy effect through competition with existing infield resources,” he explained the reason for recruiting Lee Ho-yeon.
With a record of 11 wins, 2 draws and 24 losses this season, kt. I wonder what kind of effect the joining of Lee Ho-yeon, the number one batting player in the Futures League, will have.