On July 5, KIA and Samsung carried out a one-on-one trade and drew attention from the league. Instead of acquiring catcher Kim Tae-gun (34), KIA sent infield utility player Ryu Ji-hyeok (29) to Samsung.

Samsung is considered to have the most abundant catcher pool in the league, and the league still lacks catchers. So Samsung has been at the center of trade rumors all year. The gist of the rumor was that Samsung would give up a catcher resource and recruit a player in the desired position. In fact, it is known that there were many inquiries from Samsung, and in the end, Samsung also decided to step into the trade market, and among KIA’s cards, Ji-hyeok Ryu was pointed out.

Regardless of the success or failure of the future trade, the dominant evaluation was that both sides scratched the itch. In Samsung, which is undergoing a generational change, veterans Kim Sang-soo (kt) and Oh Seon-jin (Hanwha), who qualified as free agents (FA) after last season, left the team. During the season, Lee Won-seok was also transferred by trade with Kiwoom. There were some young, talented infielders, but they needed someone who could be the focal point until they grew up. As mistakes continued in the infield at the beginning and middle of the season, the thirst grew.

Ryu Ji-hyeok showed off his utility ability to play multiple positions such as third base and first base. He was a player who was not too old and could be included even in the mid- to long-term perspective. He had a bat that could hit close to .300 and a fairly high but consistent on-base percentage. In the presence of main catcher Kang Min-ho, Kim Tae-gun, who is about to qualify for free agency, must have had a concern that the range of utilization was somewhat reduced.

Kia was the opposite. In the infield, there were young players such as Kim Do-young and Byeon Woo-hyuk, as well as resources to be discharged in the future, such as Park Min. Conversely, the catcher has been a concern for several years. Park Dong-won, who was recruited through a trade last year and solved the team’s catcher problem, signed a contract with LG as soon as he obtained free agent status and left the team. In order to fill the gap, Hyo-sang Joo was recruited through a trade as well as nurturing the existing catcher, but problems were revealed throughout the season.

Kim Tae-goon, who also had a full-time career as the main catcher, was highly anticipated as a player who would bring stability to such a shaky catcher team. While Kim Tae-gun endured, it seems that he had a plan to prepare for the future by nurturing young catchers. First of all, it was also taken into consideration that there is a difference between having a clear main catcher and not having one.

It’s been 40 days since he was traded like that. It is not yet time to discuss the success or failure of the trade. However, Samsung is gradually moving away from the possibility of becoming a ‘lower business’ in that Ryu Ji-hyuk is doing a good job. Ryu Ji-hyeok is recording a batting average of 0.292 in 26 games after transferring to Samsung. He consistently plays as the starting catcher and contributes to the stability of his team’s infield.

Immediately after his transfer, he fell into a swamp of sluggishness and raised concerns, but his performance in August was decent. He is showing strength, recording a batting average of 0.447, an on-base percentage of 0.488, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.041 in 11 games in August. Even if this performance cannot continue, it is not unreasonable to expect that he will be able to produce stable hits and add on base.

The evaluation of Kim Tae-gun from the opposite point is a little mixed. While there is an opinion that the sense of security and experience given by the main catcher cannot be ignored, there is also an opinion that his batting performance does not meet expectations and that he makes more mistakes than expected. Kim Tae-gun is recording a batting average of 0.227 and an OPS of 0.447 in 22 games after moving to KIA. Although defense is an important position, he falls far behind this year’s OPS (0.657) he recorded while at Samsung.

Interestingly, after Kim Tae-goon joined, the name Han Jun-su (24) is emerging. This year, the KIA started the season with Han Seung-taek and Joo Hyo-sang, and several catchers such as Shin Beom-soo and Kim Seon-woo came to the first team. However, no catcher ultimately took over. This was the reason KIA brought Kim Tae-gun, who had half a year left until the FA qualification, even at the expense of Ryu Ji-hyuk.꽁머니사이트

However, Junsu Han’s unusual talent as Kim Tae-goon’s backup has been attracting more attention lately. Han Jun-su, a prospect who graduated from Dongsung High School and received the KIA’s first nomination in 2018, is recording a batting average of 0.269, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.731 in 15 games this year. In the games he started, though in a small sample, he had a batting average of .280 (7 hits in 25 at-bats), one home run, and five RBIs.

Although he has some things to improve on on base, he is evaluated as having an unusual ability to turn the bat, and his defense is also praised for being stable for a young catcher. While playing the full season, more problems will be revealed, but there is an expectation that if you properly share the playing time with Kim Tae-gun, you will gain experience and become a good paving stone for next year and beyond.

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