Will KIA once again discuss the catcher trade with Samsung with the recruitment of Shim Jae-hak?
Shim Jae-hak,메이저사이트 head of the team, has a meeting with the KIA team and front desk on the 9th. In addition, a press conference will be held ahead of the SSG match in Gwangju, and the schedule will begin in earnest. In the industry, there is also a lot of interest in whether Shim Jae-hak will lead the KIA catcher trade.
It is true that KIA’s bedroom is weak. As expected, Park Dong-won (LG) has a hard time filling the void. This season, Han Seung-taek has 7 hits in 47 at-bats and Joo Hyo-sang has 2 hits in 29 at-bats. A total of 9 hits in 76 at-bats with a batting average of 0.118. Considering that even Park Dong-won was recruited through a trade in April of last year, you can see how difficult the KIA is recently in running the home.
With Shim Jae-hak taking the actual head of the front, the industry predicts that he will be able to try a catcher trade with Samsung once again. The former general manager has already explored a catcher trade with Samsung at the end of the 2022 season. Park Dong-won saw that it was not easy to stay and started Plan B.
However, the general manager at the time did not even go to specific discussions. He naturally broke down while talking with practitioners. Samsung, the ‘catcher kingdom’, had no reason to lower the level of its trade cards. In the end, KIA was satisfied with the Joo Hyo-sang trade and turned to strengthening its own competitiveness.
After all, the Samsung home room is powerful. In 24 games this season, Kang Min-ho has 29 hits in 88 at-bats, a batting average of 0.330, 3 homers, 14 RBIs, 12 runs, and an OPS of 0.898. Based on the baseball statistics site Statties, the catcher’s WAA is 0.163, which is 5th. PASS/9 ranks first with 0.205. The stealing rate is also 40%, 5th.
Kim Tae-goon and Kim Jae-seong had injuries, but their offensive and defensive balance is good. Recently, even Lee Byung-hun, a promising player, showed potential in the first team. Certainly, Samsung has room in the living room. If KIA tries the catcher trade again, it is highly likely that the partner will eventually be Samsung. Few teams have as thick backup catchers as Samsung. Moreover, the bullpen is the Achilles heel for Samsung, as it recently recruited Kim Tae-hoon. The quality of Kia’s bullpen has improved this year.
It is a fact that the weight of KIA’s home room is low and the depth of Samsung’s home room is good. However, for KIA, it is not simply a matter of looking at this season. Kang Min-ho will fly wild this year, but he is 38 years old. I will be 40 next year in Korean age. He is in the twilight of his career.
Kim Tae-goon is a free agent after this season. If brought in, it could be a half-season rental like Park Dong-won. Even Kim Tae-gun is 34 years old, which is not very young. However, Kim Tae-goon is not a super-special catcher. If you are an S-level player like Yang Eui-ji (Doosan), you should look for a recruit regardless of your age, but Kim Tae-gun is just a good catcher. Other than the two Samsung catchers, it is difficult to see that there is a big difference from the current KIA catchers.
If KIA wants to bring in a catcher, Kang Min-ho or Kim Tae-gun are realistic targets, but even this needs to be cautious and calm regardless of Samsung’s stance. According to Statistical WAA alone, Han Seung-taek is 6th with 0.143, and Joo Hyo-sang is 10th with 0.072. The two of them don’t break the bat, but the most important defense is not bad. Even if the catcher is weak, there is no law against winning the Korean Series. In addition, Seong-Beom Na, Do-Young Kim, and Won-Jun Choi, who will return one after another from June, can fill the strike production lacking in the current KIA catchers. Even if you don’t have to trade, KIA’s offensive power is likely to become stronger from the summer.
Crucially, if KIA wants to make a catcher big deal, mound bleeding is inevitable. Samsung and other clubs are inevitably interested in KIA’s young left-handed pitchers. Should the KIA recruit Kang Min-ho or Kim Tae-gun even while giving away one or more of the current first-team left-handed pitchers? I am curious about the intentions of Director Shim Jae-hak.