Less than a week had passed since he joined the team, but a smile spread across the command tower’s lips. The main character who made kt Wiz coach Lee Kang-cheol happy was Lee Ho-yeon, a “transfer student” infielder.
On the 19th,안전놀이터 kt carried out a 1:1 trade with the Lotte Giants, giving up left-handed pitcher Shim Jae-min and recruiting infielder Lee Ho-yeon.
At the time of the trade announcement, kt general manager Nah Na-hyeon said, “Lee Ho-yeon is a player with first-team experience, and is an infield resource recognized for his batting ability by ranking high in key hitting indicators in the Futures League this season.” We are expecting a synergistic effect through competition with others.”
This season, Lee Ho-yeon participated in 18 games in the Futures League and recorded 29 hits in 67 at-bats, a batting average of 0.433, 3 home runs and 17 RBIs, wielding a strong hit. However, he was naturally pushed out of the competition as he could not firmly establish himself in the first team, and he had to find a breakthrough through a transfer.
Having transfused infield resources, kt registered Lee Ho-yeon as a first-team entry on the 20th, and he was named in the starting lineup as the eighth hitter and second baseman in a home game against the Doosan Bears. He retired without a hit in the previous two at-bats, but hit a forkball on the second pitch from opponent starter Raul Alcantara in the bottom of the 8th inning with one out. It was the first hit since the transfer to kt, and it was a hit that put a brake on Alcantara’s no-hit streak.
Lee Ho-yeon started as the 6th hitter and 3rd baseman against Doosan on the 21st, and earned the trust of manager Lee Kang-cheol. Although he went hitless in 4 at-bats and failed to step on first base, his batting quality was not so bad that both the fly ball to center field in the first at-bat and the fly ball to left field in the second at-bat were both caught near the fence.
Manager Lee, who met before the game on the 21st, said of Lee Ho-yeon, “From the first at-bat (in the game on the 20th), the timing and hitting feel were very good. Looking at the second at-bat, he seems to be good at making contact.” As a capable left-handed infielder, I think I can do anything except for shortstop in terms of position. I’m looking forward to it because it’s okay to hit (the ball).
“It’s positive (from a competitive point of view), but when I have a headache and injured players come back late, there may be no (own) place,” he said. There is no place for (injured players),” he said, hoping that synergy effects would emerge from Lee Ho-yeon’s addition.
In fact, kt sent Shim Jae-min away after much thought. Shim Jae-min is kt’s ‘original member’ who joined as a priority in 2014. In the first team, he recorded a total of 293 matches, 318⅓ innings, 13 wins, 20 losses, 31 holds, 2 saves, and an average ERA of 5.03. In 2021 and last year, he played more than 40 innings for two consecutive years, posting average ERAs of 2.89 and 3.74, respectively, but this season, he was sluggish with an ERA of 22.50 in 4 games and 2 innings.
Coach Lee Kang-cheol, who was contemplating how to utilize Shim Jae-min, said, “If the exclusion property continued to be poor, we tried to prepare Shim Jae-min as a starter.” background was explained. It also means that the team’s expectations for Lee Ho-yeon’s performance are high enough to make up his mind and give Shim Jae-min.
Director Lee also expressed his wish that the trade would be actively carried out. “I hope everyone goes well. That’s how we trade again. So far, we’ve had some successful cases, so it doesn’t seem like we’re doing well (other teams). Bonnie, I wonder if the results will be good,” he said, expressing his opinion, saying, “(The previous trades) were for immediate results, and it was exchanged for winning, so it’s ridiculous to say that we regret it now.