Why did Hanwha Choose 41-year-old one-club man Kim Kang-min

The second draft was held for the first time in four years since 2019. In this draft, except for 35 protected players as of the end of the regular season, it was possible to select players belonging to the team, players on training, and players on training. 토토사이트링크 Players who are excluded from the nomination are FA and foreign players in their first to third year of joining the club.

The order of nominations was in the reverse order of the 2023 season rankings. Kiwoom Heroes, the bottom of the 2023 season, was the first to exercise the nomination, followed by Hanwha-Samsung Lions-Lotte Giants-KIA Tigers-Doosan Bears-NC Dinos-SSG-kt wiz-LG Twins. The bottom three teams were given two additional nomination opportunities.

Hanwha, which conducted the second draft in the second order after Kiwoom, nominated pitcher Lee Sang-kyu (LG) in the first round, passed in the second round, and pitcher Bae Min-seo (NC) in the third round. And Hanwha made an unconventional decision to point out SSG franchise star Kim Kang-min in the fourth round.

Kim Kang-min, who entered the professional stage as the 18th pick in the second round of the SK Wyverns in 2001, is a veteran who played in 1919 games for 23 seasons with a batting average of 0.750 138 home runs and 674 RBIs. In particular, he spent his professional career only at SSG, contributing to the team’s five Korean Series wins (2007, 2008, 2010, 2018, 2022).

He also won the oldest Korean Series MVP in the 2022 Korean Series against Kiwoom with a batting average of 0.375 (3 hits in 8 at-bats) with two home runs and five RBIs, including a decisive walk-off home run in Game 5.

However, Kim Kang-min has not been able to maintain his normal physical condition due to injuries this season. Nevertheless, he still showed a wide range of defense and played as a substitute at every important moment and performed well.

However, at the end of this season, SSG faced a major upheaval. He declared a break with coach Kim Won-hyung, who led the team to win the 2022 season and ranked third in the regular season this season. SSG, which later appointed head coach Lee Sung-yong, emphasized the development of young players and predicted improvement in the team’s constitution.

Therefore, Kim Kang-min’s future was even more of a hot topic. SSG new coach Lee Soo-yong said at the inauguration ceremony that he would respect Kim Kang-min’s opinion as much as possible, but it all went up in smoke as Kim Kang-min left the team.

Then, why did Hanwha name “41-year-old outfielder” Kim Kang-min.
First, Hanwha currently lacks center field resources. Hanwha has been plagued by insufficient outfield resources for several years. This season, he discovered young fielders such as Choi In-ho and Lee Jin-young, but both players lack experience in center field.

Jonathan Perazado, a new foreign hitter, is also expected to be difficult to defend center field. Peraza played 489 innings and 275.2 innings as right fielder and left fielder, respectively, in Triple-A in the minor league this season, but had a 0.966 and 0.950. If he records this level of figure as a corner outfielder, it is virtually impossible to defend center field. In this situation, the joining of Kim Kang-min will be of great help to Hanwha.

The second reason is the presence of a veteran. After the end of the last 2020 season, Hanwha declared a breakup with many veterans, including Lee Yong-kyu, Song Kwang-min and Ahn Young-myung. Since then, he has appointed Carlos Subero to begin the full-fledged rebuilding process.

However, the large number of veterans’ departures resulted in side effects. Hanwha had difficulty establishing the team atmosphere because it did not have a dugout leader. In addition, young players could not easily escape the slump because there was no senior to share their concerns.

In the end, ahead of this season, Hanwha recruited veteran players such as Oh Sun-jin, Chae Eun-sung and Lee Tae-yang as free agents. As a result, Hanwha, which recruited them, had the effect of killing two birds with one stone by reinforcing insufficient positions and transfusing veteran players.

Hanwha will hope this effect on Kim Kang-min. In fact, if Kim Kang-min joins Hanwha and transfers his own know-how, such as defensive position, to young outfielders, Hanwha’s young fielders can grow one step further in themselves. Hanwha surprised everyone with its surprise nomination. However, Kim Kang-min was a really necessary player for Hanwha. It was an unconventional choice, but it was a decision with clear reasons.

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