It seems that he was destined to move the team as a reward player. Lotte pitcher Lee Kang-jun eventually changed his team to Kiwoom. He almost moved to LG earlier, but fate led him to Kiwoom.
Kiwoom designated sidearm prospect pitcher Lee Kang-joon as a compensation player for free agent pitcher Han Hyun-hee, who transferred to Lotte on the 20th. Lotte recently signed a free agent contract with Han Hyun-hee for up to 4 billion won for 3+1 years. Accordingly, Kiwoom chose the reward player and the reward money.
Lee Kang-jun is a right-handed sidearm pitcher with a sturdy physique of 180cm and 80kg. He joined KT after being nominated for the 2nd and 3rd round of the 2020 rookie draft, and in 2021 transferred to Lotte in a 2-to-1 trade with catcher Kim Jun-tae and infielder Oh Yoon-seok.
His first-team performances up to his third year were unimpressive. In the first year of his debut, he appeared in 4 games (5.2 innings) for KT and recorded an earned run average of 6.35 without a win or loss. After moving to Lotte, he recorded an average ERA of 10.80 in 15 games (8.1 innings) in 2021. Last year, he recorded an average ERA of 10.24 per hold without a win or loss in 13 games (9⅔ innings).
Although he is a sidearm pitcher, he throws a fastball that can reach over 150km. Last year, his four-seam average velocity was 146 km. His value can be seen from the fact that Lotte traded a catcher and two infielders and acquired only one Lee Kang-joon. KT also regretted sending a promising pitcher to immediately reinforce power and depth.
It is still a period of adaptation to gain first-team experience, but Lee Kang-jun was a player coveted by all other teams. LG nominated Lee Kang-jun as a compensation player for catcher Yoo Kang-nam, who transferred to Lotte as a free agent.
The club front tried to bring in Lee Kang-jun, who is considered to have high potential, as a reward player. Currently, LG’s pitching staff has a lot of depth, so I tried to pick Lee Kang-jun while looking at his future.
However, comments from the field immediately wished for more power. There was no doubt that Lee Kang-jun would grow into a better pitcher after 3 or 4 years, but he preferred a player who could be used as a main pitcher in the first team bullpen right away. In the end, LG chose lefty Kim Yoo-young as the compensation player instead of Lee Kang-jun. Coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop commented on Kim Yoo-young, “I thought he had good pitches and was capable of starting as well as the bullpen.”
Lee Kang-joon continued to stay at Lotte, and is scheduled to enlist in the military in May. However, when Han Hyun-hee signed a FA contract with Lotte, Lee Kang-joon’s fate changed. 바카라
After Kiwoom accepted Lotte’s list of protected players, seeing that Lee Kang-jun was excluded, he without hesitation chose him as a reward player. He is scheduled to enlist in the military, but he chose it while looking at his talent and future without any desire to use it in the first team this year.
Ko Hyeong-wook, general manager of Kiwoom, said, “He is a player who does not have a lot of experience, but he has good power at the tip of the ball and excellent movement. He highly evaluated the potential for future growth and made the choice without hesitation.” Lee Kang-joon, who changed his uniform due to Kiwoom, plans to continue to accumulate experience points at Sangmu while being managed by Kiwoom until he enlists in the military.