It’s been a cold winter for the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization. They were the only one of the 10 teams to walk away from this season’s KBO awards ceremony ’empty-handed’. They failed to win the newly established defence award, as well as the Golden Glove and individual awards. Not a single Lotte player was selected in the second round of the draft, prompting calls for the team to improve its competitiveness.헤라카지노
The KBO wrapped up the season on 11 November with the KBO 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Golden Glove Awards at the COEX Auditorium in Seoul. On the night, Yang Ji Woo (Doosan) was named the winner of the catcher category, his ninth career award. Eric Peddy (NC), third baseman Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), and outfielder Koo Ja-uk (Samsung) were also honoured in the pitching category. It’s the end of the year and everyone should be having fun, but Lotte wasn’t all smiles. It failed to produce a single winner. Last year, “Chosun’s No. 4” Lee Dae-ho (retired) was the only winner in the designated hitter category, saving Lotte fans’ pride.
This year’s Golden Globe voting results show that the number of Lotte players nominated is significantly lower. Pitcher Kim Won-joong received just one vote out of 267 (0.3 per cent). Yoo Kang-nam (3 votes) and Noh Jin-hyuk (2 votes), both of whom joined LOTTE via free agency ahead of this season, were also underrepresented. In the outfield, Yoon Dong-hee (9 votes) received the most votes of any LOTTE player. Designated hitter Jeon Jun-woo (eight votes) was next.
Of course, Lotte is not the only club without a Golden Glove winner. However, LOTTE is the only team without a winner in the entirety of this year’s post-season awards ceremony. No LOTTE player won any of the nine newly established KBO Defence Awards, as well as the individual awards for the first and second division leagues at last month’s KBO Awards.
With this situation, there is a need for Lotte to improve the competitiveness of its individual players. Lotte’s problems are not new. In the second round of the draft held on the 22nd of last month, Lotte had the “funny” situation of being the only one of the 10 clubs to not have any players selected. While this is fortunate for Lotte, which has a shallow depth chart, it also means that the team has lost its competitive edge in the sense that no one considered taking them.
The fact that rookie players were not able to develop their competitiveness while growing into mid-level players is most likely due to the club’s own development system. If a player has good skills and joins the club through the free agency market, and then suddenly declines in performance, it is likely that the direction of the club is wrong. Lotte already has quite a few players of this type.
However, the good news is that Lotte’s new manager is Kim Tae-hyung. Kim, who spent eight years at the helm of Doosan starting in 2015 and led the team to the Korean Series in seven consecutive seasons, has a knack for getting the most out of underperforming teams. This gives Lotte players hope that they can take the next step and become more competitive.