The situation has changed. The 2023 season is more important than ever for Lotte Giants’ outfielder Kim Jae-yu (31) of the “scoring man”.
Kim Jae-yu recorded a personal career high in the 2021 season. He appeared in 87 games, where he had a batting average of .287 (50 hits in 174 at-bats) with one home run and 18 RBI. In particular, he showed outstanding performance with a scoring position batting average of 0.462 (18 hits in 39 at-bats) and a pinch hit average of 0.421 (8 hits in 19 at-bats). Although his sample was small, his strong performances in scoring opportunities left a mark on many Lotte fans.
The timing was also right. Ahead of last season, outfielder Son A-seop (35, NC Dinos) transferred to free agency, leaving a gap in the outfield. Expectations were high that Kim Jae-yu would fill the vacancy, and he was highly anticipated within the team.
However, when the season started, Kim Jae-yu, who was playing in the first team, could not be seen. He disappeared early last year after appearing in just one game for the first team. He was plagued by frequent injuries and had a lot of trouble spending a normal season.
The team has changed a lot since then. Competitors came up in the outfield where Son A-seop was missing. Hwang Seong-bin (26), a runaway locomotive, and Ko Seung-min (23), who joined the team after being discharged, stood out. 스포츠토토
Hwang Seong-bin drew the attention of many fans with his evil spirit, which was difficult to see in Lotte. He didn’t even have bad grades. He had a smooth first year with the first team, appearing in 102 games and posting a batting average of .294 (94-for-320), 1 home run, 16 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.707.
The same goes for Koh Seung-min. He appeared in 92 games and had a striking performance with a batting average of 0.316 (74 hits in 234 at-bats), 5 home runs, and 30 RBIs with an OPS of 0.834. In particular, he recorded a slugging percentage (0.453) in the 40% range and is expected to take a place in the Lotte outfield in the future.
It is highly likely that Hwang Seong-bin and Ko Seung-min will occupy a spot in the outfield in the upcoming season as well. For Kim Jae-yu, who was on the verge of entering the starting lineup, the situation has completely changed in a year.
Kim Jae-yu is preparing for a comeback after recovering from a knee injury that plagued him. He passed the team physical fitness test held on the 18th and is improving his physical condition normally. He is ready to pour sweat for his jump to the starting lineup.
Meanwhile, in addition to Hwang Seong-bin, Ko Seung-min, and Kim Jae-yu, Lotte plans to create a competitive structure by joining outfield resources such as newcomers Kim Min-seok (19), Shin Yun-hoo (27, former name Shin Yong-soo), and Ahn Kwon-soo (30). Attention is focusing on whether the moment-forgotten Lotte scoring man can revive in the 2023 season.