The LG catcher ranked first in home runs in the first group, and the LG catcher also ranked first in home runs in the second group. But it doesn’t end here. The player who is considered one of the best catchers in the 2nd team also belongs to LG. The effect of buying catchers well, appointing them well, and raising them well is evident at the beginning of this season.
Last winter, the LG front desk was right. Due to the salary cap problem, I chose Plan B and built a powerful batting line. It is Park Dong-won (33), LG’s new main catcher who plays an active role like a number 4 hitter in the bottom batting order. Until last week, Park Dong-won led the division with 9 homers and was ranked 4th in the league and 1st in catchers with an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.908.메이저놀이터
He had some expectations. Park Dong-won hit 22 home runs in his personal career in 2021 and 18 home runs in 2022. Although his batting average is low, he has established himself as a catcher who gives strength to the batting line with an on-base percentage that is about 10% higher than his batting average and a high slugging percentage. He was evaluated as an offensive and defensive catcher, and signed a free agent contract with LG for 4 years and 6.5 billion won in the last Stove League.
It wasn’t something he planned from the start. At that time, LG’s plan A was to defend Yoo Kang-nam, who had obtained FA status. However, due to the salary cap, Lotte was unable to match the proposed amount and turned to Park Dong-won. And that choice leads to success.
It’s not just a good record. The nutritional value of each long shot is very high. On the 14th, Park Dong-won ignited the embers of the chase with a two-run gun in the 4th inning in a situation where he was dragged 1-5 against Daegu Samsung. And in the ninth inning, he recorded two RBIs and a double that practically put a wedge in the game. By firing cannons whenever necessary, LG built a minefield of batting lines in which the distinction between top and bottom batting order was meaningless. 6 people with an OPS of 0.800 or higher. National team outfielder Hyun-soo Kim has an OPS of 0.777 and Hae-min Park has an OPS of 0.701.
In addition, Icheon is also hot. Until last week, the top runner in the Futures League belonged to LG. Kim Bum-seok, a rookie high school graduate, tied for first place in the home run category with Doosan Hong Seong-ho with 5 home runs. His shoulder is being rehabilitated, so he is playing as a designated hitter, but he is conquering the second team stage in his at-bat. He digested 83 at-bats in 24 games and has a batting average of 0.351 OPS 1.044 and is active as the best hitter in the Futures League along with Lee Joo-hyung (OPS 1.241).
General manager Cha Myung-seok said of Kim Bum-seok, “I thought about focusing only on shoulder rehabilitation, but he thought it would be good to play as a designated hitter in terms of motivation. The appearance of the game is as shown in the record. You can think of him as Lee Dae-ho, who is a bit short.” He smiled and said, “I will see the catcher after shoulder rehabilitation. He said, “First of all, he is showing good form as a hitter, so when the time for expanded entry comes, he will be able to call up the first team.”
If you look at the Futures League this season, LG doesn’t really need catcher Kim Bum-seok. Second-year catcher Kim Seong-woo has grown rapidly and wears a mask constantly. General Manager Cha said, “Kim Seong-woo is evaluated as having the best defense among the catchers in the 2nd division.” There are too many players to use for the second team right now,” he said. Since last year, Kim Seong-woo, who has been in special training with battery coach Yoon Yo-seop, is also active at bat with a batting average of 0.300.
At the request of coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop, LG plans to periodically conduct first-team tours of promising players. Players from the 2nd team join the 1st team and train with seniors, and the 1st team coaching staff checks the skills and growth direction of the promising players. Even if you can’t put your name on the entry, you can get noticed by Yeom and coaches and become the number one alternative power. Prospective players also benefit from first-team training experience.
General manager Cha said, “The coach requested a first-team tour from the end of this month at the earliest. At the latest, around June, one or two of our promising players will train in Jamsil, watch the game, and then join Icheon again. Kim Bum-seok and Kim Seong-woo are the same. I think it’s good to show your skills first before expanding entry,” he explained the future power development plan.
When the catcher is strong, the whole team is strong. One well-trained catcher is in charge of the team for 10 years. It is LG that builds a catcher kingdom and catches both the present and the future.