“With the return of Na Seung-yup next year, it was difficult to give him a chance to play.”
On April 19, Lotte announced the trade with KT, emphasizing this year and next. In August, the team announced the acquisition of left-hander Shim Jae-min from KT, calling him “a resource that can strengthen the bullpen depth in the second half of the season.”
Pitchers are multi-faceted. For Lotte, this is especially true for lefties. Kim Jin-wook has been performing well, but he’s only a third-year rookie. In the middle of the summer, when pitchers’ velocity drops, having Sim Jae-min as a backup could be a big boost.
The team is also looking ahead to next year. Regarding infielder Lee Ho-yeon, who was sent to KT, he said, “It’s a shame because he’s a good hitter, but Kim Min-soo and Park Seung-wook are currently playing backup roles. And with the return of Na Seung-yup next year, it was hard to give him a chance to play.”
It’s an understandable decision. Especially when you consider how the top left-handed hitter in the 2021 Rookie Draft, Na Seung-yeop, has performed in the Futures League. In his second season, Na is hitting .354 with a .932 OPS in 28 games through last week. This is a continuation of his performance last year, when he hit .300 with a .903 OPS in his first year.
The key is the position, which is also not a problem. On November 20, Lotte general manager Sung Min-kyu said, “I’m thinking about both first and third base. I know he’s playing first base now because his shoulder is bad, but he’s been a third baseman since the draft. When he comes back, I’m thinking about playing third base.”
The addition of Na Seung-yeop gives the team a younger and more diverse infield. Ahn Chi-hong and Noh Jin-hyuk are in charge of the center field. With Ko Seung-min at first base and Han Dong-hee at third base, Na Seung-yeop’s addition to the infield will improve the depth of the infield. It’s also possible to rotate one of the five infielders as a designated hitter. Na Seung-yeop could also replace Han Dong-hee if he is called up for military service.
Lotte got the best of the best in the 2021 draft. They selected top catcher Son Sung-bin in the first round, top left-hander Kim Jin-wook in the first round, and top left-hander Na Seung-yup in the second round, signaling a bright future. Kim Jin-wook is the core of the bullpen, and Son Sung-bin, who joined the mercantile industry before Na Seung-yup, will join the team next month. From next year’s spring training, there is also Na Seung-yeop. Lotte has been focusing on “seeding,” which means picking well in the draft, developing well, and quickly resolving military service. From next year, they will face the time of fruitfulness.
메이저사이트 “The first batch of players sent to the army are returning one by one,” Sung said. It started with Son Sung-bin, followed by Na Seung-yeop. It’s been hard for the past two years, but I’ve been patient and determined. If the players return one by one, the squad can become a virtuous cycle. We are constantly sending rookies to the army, so we will continue to be a blood transfusion for young players in the future. We’re excited about that.”
It’s possible to be at the top of the standings for a season or two and make the postseason. It’s all about consistency. When you become a consistent fall baseball team, you open the door to winning. Lotte’s blueprint is to get stronger every year and become a fall baseball regular.