Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, where the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League match between Lotte Giants and Kiwoom Heroes was scheduled to be held on the 29th. On this day, it was raining in Busan from the morning, and it was unclear whether the game would proceed.
In the Lotte dugout on the first base side, catcher Yoo Kang-nam (31) and pitcher Choi Jun-yong (22) were sitting together and having a conversation. Kang-Nam Yoo showed a demonstration, and Jun-Yong Choi got up from his chair and was looking for advice from Gang-Nam Yoo while holding his form. Regardless of the inclement weather, the two players continued their heated conversation.
Although he is a first-year Lotte player, Yoo Kang-nam is showing such outstanding leadership. Results are still unnoticeable. Yoo Gang-nam, who played 21 games of the season until the 29th, has a batting average of 0.246, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.652. He is not living up to the expectations of signing a 4-year, 8 billion won free agent (free agent) contract.
However, both the coaching staff and players are raising their thumbs toward Yoo Kang-nam. Right-hander Na Kyun-an (25), who has been active as the team’s ace this season, said, “Gangnam-hyung led well and reacted well, so I was able to command well.”
Lotte manager Larry Sutton (53) also said, “Yoo Kang-nam is a player with excellent leadership behind the home plate. The reason he was recruited from Lotte is because he leads pitchers well.” He even knows his physical condition,” he said. “I am showing outstanding leadership in the part where I go and talk appropriately whenever necessary.”
Kangnam Yoo has been setting an example since spring camp. Coach Sutton confessed, “When you join a new team, there are players who work hard for about two weeks and then become lazy little by little, but I was surprised that the free agents worked hard every day.” He continued, “These players are leading the leadership, and there are already existing veteran players, so they get along well together and create group leadership.”
Yoo Kang-nam’s true value was also shown in the game on the 28th. In the beginning of the 6th inning when the team was leading 4-2, left-hander Kim Jin-wook (21), who took the mound with 2 out and 1st base, gave up a walk to first batter Lee Yong-gyu. When the next hitter Lee Hyeong-jong threw two balls in a row, Yoo Kang-nam immediately went up to the mound and took care of the pitcher. Afterwards, Kim Jin-wook overcame the hurdle by treating Lee Hyung-jong as a floating ball in left field.
Even in the silent at-bat, he showed a decisive performance on this day. Appearing at the end of the 2nd inning with 1 out, 2nd and 3rd base, he scored a run against Kiwoom starter Choi Won-tae and hit a ball rolling in front of center fielder. It was the team’s first priority. When the next hitter Lee Hak-joo hit, Yoo Kang-nam, who went to second base, stepped on the groove when Kim Min-seok doubled in the 9th and added a point.안전놀이터
After the end of the 2017 season, Kang Min-ho (Samsung) left Lotte, leaving a gap in the home. For five years, Lotte rotated several catchers, but it was not easy to fill the vacancy. In the end, Lotte solved this problem through large-scale investment. And at least in terms of leadership, it was a successful recruitment.