Compared to the past, the KBO league has a much longer player life. In the past, there were many cases in which players retired when they reached the age of 30, so the life of a player was short. Recently, however, there are players who are in their mid-30s and play until the age of 40.

The oldest players in the KBO League this year are Choo Shin-soo, Kim Kang-min (SSG), and Oh Seung-hwan (Samsung), who were born in 1982 and celebrated their 41-year-old season. It is the result of the consistent efforts of the player himself and the systematic management of the club.토토사이트

However, in the KBO league, which must survive fierce competition, if a veteran in his early and mid-30s performs sluggishly for two consecutive years, he should be concerned about being released. This is because the club judges that the veteran has reached the limit and judges that it is better to give young players a chance. Last winter, Samsung Lions’ veteran giant gun Kim Dong-yeop, born in 1990, was also in a position to worry about being released.

Kim Dong-yeop, who made a U-turn in the minor leagues and joined the SK Wyverns in 2016, achieved 20 home runs three times by 2020. It was highly valued as an uncommon right-handed gun in the KBO League. Kim Dong-yeop, who hit only 6 home runs in 2019, the first season after moving to Samsung in a triangle trade, reached his third 20 home run high with 20 home runs in 2020. With a batting average of 0.312, 74 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.868, the 2020 season was also successful for indicators excluding home runs.

However, in 2021 and 2022, it was sluggish. He only hit 4 homers in 2021 and 2 in 2022, fading his reputation as a big shot. For two years, he had a very poor season, failing to exceed either a batting average of 0.240 or an OPS of 0.7. WAR, which represents the contribution to victory versus substitute players, was also negative for two consecutive years, with -0.64 in 2021 and -0.69 in 2022.

Last year, after Samsung failed to advance to the postseason in 7th place, acting manager Park Jin-man took office as the official manager. Observations were raised that veteran Kim Dong-yeop might be released due to poor team performance and a change of command tower. Fortunately, Kim Dong-yeop was not released and welcomed the 2023 season, but was not included in the first team spring camp roster. It was a hint that tough internal competition awaited this year. 

Kim Dong-yeop, who was on the opening entry, started off well with a batting average of 0.417, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.167 in 4 games. Against the Hanwha Eagles in Daegu on the 4th, Masu-geol hit a home run, contributing to Samsung’s 7-6 victory. If Geopo doesn’t hit his first home run at the beginning of the season, he may feel burdened, but Kim Dong-yeop has seen a ‘hand taste’ in three games since the opening. 

Samsung, along with Hanwha and NC Dinos this season, was predicted to be one of the bottom 3 ‘weaks’. Last winter, free agents Kim Sang-soo (kt) and Oh Seon-jin (Hanwha) transferred to other teams, causing power leaks in fielders, and there was no reinforcement. 

As foreign players Buchanan, Suarez, and Pirella who played last year all renewed their contracts, it is difficult for Samsung to aim for a reversal of team performance by recruiting new foreign players. In the end, Samsung has no point other than to expect the struggle of existing domestic players.

Last year, Samsung was only 7th in the league with 103 team homers, failing to make full use of the hitter-friendly Daegu Samsung Lions Park. This year, attention is being paid to whether Kim Dong-yeop will revive and hit 20 homers again and take the lead in Samsung’s fall baseball.

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