Lotte made a winning series against Hanwha, avenging the defeat the previous day.
The Lotte Giants, led by coach Larry Sutton, won 7-3 with 13 hits, including two home runs, in an away game against the Hanwha Eagles in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Daejeon Hanwha Life Insurance Eagles Park on the 18th. Lotte, who lost after a close match that went to overtime the day before, succeeded in avenging itself in a day and chased SSG Landers, who could not play due to rain, by one game (21-12).안전놀이터
Lotte’s starter Han Hyun-hee won his 4th win of the season with a good pitching of 6 innings, 1 hit, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts and no runs, and 4 pitchers took responsibility for the victory by throwing the remaining 3 innings. In the batting line, rookie Kim Min-seok, who hit a home run as the lead batter in the first inning, swung a hard hit with 3 hits, 2 runs and 2 RBIs, including the final hit. Ahn Kwon-soo, a Korean-Japanese player who is having a season that could be his last in the KBO league, is the main character.
Successful cases in the lower rounds overcoming the nomination ranking
Every year, top-notch prospects who have topped high school or college baseball are nominated in the highest order in the rookie draft and enter the professional stage with a large deposit, but a high nomination always leads to good performances in the pros. It is not guaranteed. On the contrary, there are many cases in which players who were nominated in the lower ranks and did not receive much attention at the time of joining, showed unexpected talent and grew into stars on the professional stage.
The representative success story of the lower round nomination in the KBO League is Yang Eui-ji, the master of the Doosan Bears, who is on his way to becoming the best catcher ever. Yang Eui-ji, who joined Doosan with the 59th overall pick in the 2nd round of the 8th round in the 2006 rookie draft, won the 2010 Rookie of the Year, two Korean Series MVPs, and 8 Golden Gloves (7 catchers, 1 designated hitter) and became the best catcher. has grown He earned a whopping 27.7 billion won through two free agency contracts.
‘Captain’ Han Yu-seom, who leads the ‘defending champion’ SSG, was also a player who did not receive much attention at the time of joining, as he was from the 85th rank in the 9th round of the 2012 rookie draft. However, Hanyu Island, whose potential as a giant cannon was recognized from his rookie season, grew into a leading hitter for SK by recording 29 homers in 2017. And in 2018, when SK Wyverns won the Korean Series, he was selected as the Korean Series MVP with 41 home runs and 115 RBIs, emerging as a hero of Incheon baseball.
Following 13 saves and 27 holds in 2022, left-handed specialist Kim Jae-woong, who is active as a pillar of the Kiwoom Heroes bullpen with 5 saves and 1 hold this year, also did not attract much attention when he joined the pro. Kim Jae-woong, who joined Nexen in the 57th place in the 2nd round of the 6th round of the 2017 rookie draft, made his debut in the first team in 2020, when he was in his 4th year as a pro, and showed steady growth.
Moon Seong-joo, who is scratching the itch in the LG Twins outfield by going to and from both corner outfields, is also a representative success case of a lower-round nomination. Moon Seong-joo, who was from Gangneung Yeongdong University and barely entered the pros in the 2018 rookie draft with the 97th rank in the 2nd 10th round, finished his military service as a social worker and began to play an active part in the first team in earnest from 2022. Moon Seong-joo, who unfortunately failed to fill the required at-bat even after recording a 30% batting average in 2022, is wielding a batting average of .331 in 35 games this year.
300 hitter Ahn Kwon-soo, is this the last season?
▲ Ahn Kwon-soo, returning home. A professional baseball game between Lotte Giants and KIA Tigers held at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on the 3rd. In the top of the 3rd inning Lotte, runner Ahn Kwon-soo advanced to second base and returned to second base when Kim Min-seok’s right fielder fly from first base safely.
ⓒ Yonhap News
Ahn Kwon-soo, who was born and raised in Japan, participated in the Koshien, a national high school baseball tournament called the ‘dream stage’ for Japanese high school baseball players. Ahn Kwon-soo, who contributed to the team’s advancement to the semifinals by recording a batting average of 40% in the Koshien tournament during his second year at Waseda Technical School, played an active part in the independent league and social baseball team after graduating from high school. He was nominated by Doosan in the 99th overall in the 10th round. He was the second lowest overall nomination out of 100 secondary nominations.
Ahn Kwon-soo caught the attention of the coaching staff with his quick feet and accurate batting ability as soon as he joined, but at that time, Doosan’s outfield had clear starters such as Kim Jae-hwan, Park Kun-woo, and Su-bin Su. Eventually, Ahn Kwon-soo, who started the season as a backup, played in 68 games in 2020 and 87 games in 2021, gradually expanding his position in the first team. He recorded and was recognized for his skills on the Korean stage.
However, Ahn Kwon-soo was excluded from Doosan’s reserve list after the 2022 season. According to the Military Service Act of the Republic of Korea, Ahn Kwon-soo, who had not served in the military, could play in Korea until 2023, and Doosan decided to let Ahn Kwon-su, who could not have a future together, be released early. However, Ahn Kwon-soo still had a desire to play an active part in the KBO League, and Lotte, which was aiming to strengthen the outfield, recruited Ahn Kwon-soo as a ‘time limit’ for one year, allowing him to continue his career in Korea.
As a result, Lotte’s recruitment of Ahn Kwon-soo was a great success. Ahn Kwon-soo, who occupied a spot in Lotte’s outfield, has played in 29 games this year and is showing outstanding performance beyond expectations with a batting average of .311, 2 homers, 12 RBIs, 15 runs and 7 steals. Ahn Kwon-soo played the role of a table setter perfectly with a multi-hit and two points against Hanwha on the 18th. In particular, in the 8th inning, he succeeded in an accurate sending bunt from the 1st and 2nd base safely, and even played a role as a link to score points that put a wedge in the game.
In order for Ahn Kwon-soo to continue his career in Korea next year, the only way is to enlist at the end of this season or win a gold medal by being selected for the Hangzhou Asian Games team this year. Ahn Kwon-soo, who has a wife and children in Japan, is not realistically able to choose to enlist. The only option left is to select the national team. Will Ahn Kwon-soo, who is having his last season in Korea, be able to play on the ground in his home country again next year?