After completing the 2024 KBO rookie draft, KIA Tigers general manager Shim Jae-hak could not hide his smile. “We picked all seven pitchers we tried to pick,” he said with a smile, “Catcher Lee Sang-joon (18, Gyeonggi High School), who was nominated in the third round, was actually expected to be nominated by other teams in the previous round, but we were able to catch them.” Kwon Yoon-min, head of KIA’s power planning team, also said, “We didn’t expect Lee Sang-joon to come to our turn because there was no right to nominate him for the second round. “I caught good catcher resources,” he said with satisfaction. 온라인카지노
In this draft, KIA took on a clear concept of “securing future pitcher resources” and “infielders with multi-possibilities and power.” In the meantime, Lee Sang-joon’s nomination, which was labeled the biggest fish among the catchers in the draft, was also an “unexpected luck” for KIA itself. When Lee Sang-joon’s nomination was not made until KIA’s nomination order returned in the third round, KIA asked for time to urgently revise its nomination strategy and chose to catch Lee Sang-joon first.
Lee Sang-joon, a right-handed catcher, was invited to represent Korea at a power showcase for promising players around the world in the U.S. Major League last year. In the first half of that year, he received the High School Weekend League batting award and the home run award.
Despite this, the reason why it did not receive attention this season was because of the somewhat sluggish blow. He had a batting average of 243 in 19 games and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.741. He struck out 14 while getting 11 walks and only three home runs. The sluggish batting, which was considered a strength, eventually caused the order of nomination to be pushed back.
However, KIA had a different opinion. Regarding Lee Sang-joon, Shim said, “There is a good possibility as a large catcher. When I checked it on the spot, he said, “He has the throwing ability that is comparable to professional players,” adding, “I have expectations that he will grow very quickly if he reinforces defense such as blocking.”
KIA, where veteran Kim Tae-gun (34) occupies the home turf, has several catchers with potential for growth. There are many players worth scratching, including Joo Hyo-sang (26), Kim Sun-woo (22), and Kwon Hyuk-kyung (21), who have consistently shown good hits in the Futures (22) league ahead of this season, who showed good performances after the first-tier call-up, respectively. The key is how Lee Sang-joon shows up in the competition with them. Team leader Kwon said, “I think we have selected resources to compete with. It will also be a stimulus for existing catchers, he said.