(By Yoo Jun-sang, ExSportsNews) The KT Wiz had a big problem after last season. Unable to put off his military enlistment any longer, star infielder Shim Woo-jun received his final acceptance notice from the Armed Forces Athletic Corps. With a gaping hole in the center field, KT needed to find an alternative immediately.
They could have made a breakthrough through internal development, but instead, KT turned to the free agent market. The card they chose was “veteran” Kim Sang-soo. The contract was for a total of 2.9 billion won ($800 million down payment, $1.5 billion annual salary, and $600 million in options) for four years.
Kim has been a “one-club man” since joining the Samsung Lions in 2009. When he became a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, he signed a three-year contract totaling 1.8 billion won (600 million won down payment, 250 million won annual salary, and 450 million won in incentives). Not many people expected Kim to leave Daegu then.
After focusing primarily on second base since 2019, Kim prepared for the 2023 season as a shortstop, his original position. He could also play second base, but ultimately, KT signed him to fill the void left by Shim Woo-jun.
Kim rebounded in May after struggling in April, hitting .250 with 19 home runs, nine RBIs and a .599 OPS in 23 games. In 23 games last month, Kim got back on track, hitting .333 with 26 home runs, eight RBIs and an OPS of .839 in 78 at-bats.
Sang-soo showed his true colors in a three-game series against the Doosan Bears last weekend.
In game three, he pounded out three 토토사이트 hits, including a pair of doubles, to lead the team to a 13-3 victory. The next day, with his team down 0-2 in the bottom of the second inning, he hit a two-run double with runners on second and third to spark a 5-2 comeback win.
According to baseball stats site Statiz, Kim’s WAR (wins above replacement) was 1.43, ranking him first among outfielders on the team. That’s higher than the only other foreign hitter with an OPS over 1 in the month of April, Anthony Alford (1.36).
It’s not just that Kim is a good hitter; he’s also a good ball-seeker.
His 3.20 pitches per at-bat this season ranks eighth among all hitters in the league. His strikeout-to-walk ratio (0.91) is 13th in the league. Narrowing it down to the team, the team ranks first in both pitches per at-bat and strikeout-to-walk ratio. This makes him a tricky pitcher for KT to face.
Kim is also a stalwart on defense. Through 49 games, he has played the most defensive innings (393) on the team, and his defense is above league average for a veteran. It’s safe to say that he’s filled the void left by Shim Woo-jun.
Until KT acquired Kim Sang-soo, he was a question mark. Moreover, after hitting triple digits in his debut in 2020, he hadn’t done so in two years. His first season with his new team was crucial, and he’s answered the team’s expectations with results.