Three main pillars of the SK Dynasty, ‘9-10-10-9’ Hanhwaseo, one-pot rice → Shall we transplant winning mentality

The Hanwha Eagles recruited catcher Lee Jae-won who was released from the SSG Landers on Friday. Lee Jae-won refuses to offer a coach, and is taking steps to ignite the last spark as a player. As a result, the trio of players who represented the SK dynasty will play together in Daejeon, including Jung Woo-ram, who plays as a flying coach next season after joining the Hanwha Eagles as a free agent, Kim Kang-min, and Choi Jae-hoon, who will support the Hanwha outfield to add experience to the team’s home turf. The three players who represented the SK dynasty will now play together in various fields, including pitchers, catchers, and outfielders. 스포츠토토

Both Kim Kang-min and Lee Jae-won are strong-minded and dreamt of recovering their honor. Kim spent 23 years as a one-club man at the SSG. While preparing for his final season at the SSG with his friend Choo Shin-soo, excluding him from the 35-member roster of the second draft was literally humiliating.

It is true that he performed poorly this season, posting a batting average of .266, OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 0.627, and only 166 at-bats in 70 games. However, he was none other than the player who won the Korean Series MVP last year. As he said, he was a living legend who won all five titles at SK→SSG. When Kim Kang-min was selected in the second draft, SSG filed a complaint with Hanwha, and even replaced Kim Sung-ryong after failing to take care of his situation, asking him to retire.

Even though he is the oldest player in the league, he still feels comfortable that he has been recognized for his value. His unique strength and excellent batting judgment ability are still alive. He is expected to play as a spiritual support and one of the pillars of the outfield as he leads young outfielders in the Hanwha Eagles.

Lee Jae-won is all the more desperate. Unfortunately, he had 48 at-bats in just 27 games this season, but even in a small sample, he faced a slump of four hits in 44 times at bat. His batting average for this season was less than 100 percent (91 percent). It was the worst year since his debut in 18 years. He was also completely pushed out of the competition to become a starting member. Unlike Kim Kang-min, SSG fandom had a cold view of Lee Jae-won.

Because this was not the first time such a slump was made. In 2020, the first year of signing a four-year 6.9 billion FA contract, he was sluggish with a batting average of 18.5 percent, and last year he was only 20 percent. He chose to voluntarily release him, but the destination was not right. In the meantime, Hanwha took the hand.

He didn’t pay much attention to his annual salary. He changed his uniform for the first time since his professional debut in 2006 with the minimum annual salary of 50 million won (44,890 U.S. dollars). After confirming the possibility of young players this year, Hanwha is now filling up its experience and strengthening its depth. Kim Kang-min and Lee Jae-won have many roles to play in Hanwha.

It makes us wonder whether Lee Jae-won will be reunited with Ryu. Lee Jae-won is also famous as the first player that SK picked in place of Ryu in 2006. SK picked Lee Jae-won given Ryu’s elbow surgery experience, but it has become a choice that it will regret later on. In his first year as a professional baseball player, Ryu won the league MVP and the Rookie of the Year award at the same time, and moved to the Major League from 2013 with a brilliant record of 98 wins, 52 losses, one save and an ERA of 2.80. He has also played as a representative major leaguer for Korea in the Major League with a career record of 78 wins, 48 losses and an ERA of 3.27.

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