When superstars who dominated the KBO league start to retire or walk the aging curve, the word that comes out of the courtesy is ‘find a successor’. It means that I miss the nostalgia left by superstars and that it has a great influence on the team. It also implies lamentation that it is not easy to find a ‘successor’.
Attention is focused on whether the successor of Lee Dae-ho (former Lotte Giants), who made the second retirement tour in the KBO league last year, or Kim Tae-gyun (former Hanwha Eagles), who retired in 2020, will appear this year.
These are representative legends of the KBO that need no explanation, and they are all one-club men and permanent members of the team. However, there is still no successor to succeed them. However, this does not mean that there was no lumber at all.
Han Dong-hee received attention as ‘Post Lee Dae-ho’. Lee Dae-ho himself nominated Han Dong-hee as Lotte’s fourth hitter to succeed him. In particular, at his retirement ceremony in October of last year, he showed special affection to Han Dong-hee, expressing his wish to “be a hero for Lotte fans.”
Now, Han Dong-hee has an opportunity to establish himself as a ‘post Lee Dae-ho’ this year, entering his 6th professional year. Lee Dae-ho’s empty space must be filled.
It has certain qualities. Han Dong-hee, who wore a Lotte uniform as the first nomination in 2018, hit double-digit homers for three consecutive years from the 2020 season and solidified his position as a home run hitter. Last year, a hamstring injury in early May hindered his ankle, but in 24 games in April, he hit 0.427 (38 hits in 89 at-bats) with 7 homers and 22 RBIs, and also recorded a .307 batting average (0.307) for the first time since joining the professional team. 스포츠토토
Post Kim Tae-gyun’ is currently in progress. Noh Si-hwan received attention as ‘Kim Tae-gyun’s successor’, but at some point he slowed down. Noh Si-hwan was recognized as Hanwha’s next-generation giant at once, following his 12 homers in the 2020 season, his second year as a professional, and increasing to 18 in the 2021 season. At the time, manager Jeong Min-cheol even boasted that he had “found the perfect successor to Kim Tae-gyun.”
However, last year, he recorded the highest individual hits (122) and the highest batting average (0.281), but only 6 homers, and as the loss of slugging power became noticeable, the word ‘Kim Tae-gyun’s successor’ was thrown around.
On the other hand, Kim In-hwan, who graduated from Sungkyunkwan University and joined as a training player in 2016, returned from active duty and hit 104 hits with 16 home runs at once last year, and Kim Tae-yeon, who is still unfinished, is competing with Kim In-hwan.
Even if it is not possible to find a successor to Kim Tae-gyun right away, the competition of young trios leading to Roh Si-hwan, Kim In-hwan and Kim Tae-yeon is encouraging for Hanwha.
Ahead of the 2023 season, unlike previous years, Lotte and Hanwha most actively reinforced their strength through external recruitment. If you show a look that can succeed the team legends here, it can’t be the icing on the cake. It is not difficult at all to escape the disgrace of being in the lower ranks of the ten thousand years.