Is Kim Tae-gun’s Successor Han Jun-su? KIA’s Still Thick Home Turf Debs, Which Gave Up New Offense

Ahead of the second draft, the KIA Tigers failed to put backup catcher Shin Bum-soo on the list of protected players. 스포츠토토 Shim Jae-hak, the general manager of KIA, said, I had to tie a lot of pitchers to the protected player list, so I had to worry a lot. In the end, Shin Bum-soo was selected by SSG Landers in the third round of the second draft held on the 22nd.

Shin Bum-soo is a catcher who showed his presence this season. Han Seung-taek (31), who was in charge of the main line, showed his potential by starting from May when he left due to an injury until the end of the first half. He was an indispensable player for the team seeking to strengthen the catcher’s depth.

KIA signed a multi-year contract with catcher Kim Tae-gun a three-year period, a total of 2.5 billion won in October. For now, it has secured a key player to protect its home turf for the next two to three seasons. At the same time, he focused on inducing young catchers to grow. Shim Jae-hak, head of the team, also said, Young players will have to gain a lot of experience while Kim Tae-gun connects until a new starting catcher comes out.

The young catcher’s representative runner is Han Jun-su. He made a strong impression by playing in 24 of the 39 games 14 starts of the 2023 regular season played by KIA in September and October. Since mid-September, he has played more defensive innings than Kim Tae-gun, who has a poor left ankle condition.

Han Jun-su is a promising catcher who was selected in the first rookie draft in 2018. He has mainly played in the Futures second-tier league, but he was evaluated as a player with solid catch and blocking skills. In 24 games he played in September and October, he proved his batting potential with a batting average of 0.271 and a long-range batting average of 0.375. At this point, he is considered the first option for backup of the catcher and the first successor of Kim Tae-gun.

There are also many other catchers looking for Han Jun-su’s position. Han Seung-taek, who played 593 games in the first division alone, has defensive skills praised by senior coach Jin Gap-yong, who was a legendary catcher when he was a player. Kwon Hyuk-kyung, an aggressive catcher rising star who joined the military as an active duty, will also return soon. There is also Joo Hyo-sang, who gave up the rookie nomination right the second round in 2024 to the Kiwoom Heroes in November last year.

On top of that, Lee Sang-joon who was selected in the third round of the 2024 second rookie draft, is already getting high expectations. It is evaluated that mental is mature regardless of age due to outstanding physique conditions 1m82cm tall and 108kg weight. Lee Sang-joon is currently receiving basic training from senior coach Jin Gap-yong and battery coach Kim Sang-hoon at KIA’s closing camp in Okinawa, Japan.

Even after removing Shin Bum-soo from the second draft protection list, KIA still has many catcher prospects. A lot of resources does not necessarily make the power stronger, but the situation is much better compared to this time last year. Synergy effects through competition can also be expected.

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