Doosan’s second team, led by the Futures team coach Junghoon Lee, will depart for Miyakojima, Japan, through Incheon International Airport on the 5th. A total of 40 people, including coach Junghoon Lee, 30 coaching staff members, 16 pitchers, three catchers, six infielders and five outfielders, will sweat in the second-tier spring camp.
Under Junghoon Lee’s leadership, Doosan will start its first spring camp training at Miyakojima Irabu Stadium on Feb. 6. Initially, the team focuses on technical and tactical training and weight training.
Starting from mid-February, the team will play games. Doosan
s second tier team will play practice games with Nippon Steel and others and will return to Korea on May 5. Key members of the teams spring camp include Kim Myung-shin and Jungwoo Kim, Yoon Joon-ho for catcher, Jeon Min-jae for infielders, and Yang Chan-yeol and Kim Tae-geun for outfielders.
However, veteran Kim Jae-ho, who was slowly preparing for the 2024 season in the second division due to the coaching staff’s consideration, cannot accompany him to the Miyakojima Spring Cap in Japan. As the salary negotiations failed to be concluded, he became an uncontracted player in accordance with KBO League regulations.
Kim Jae-ho, born in 1985, was a top-rated prospect who graduated from Chung-Ang High School in 2004 and joined the club with the first nomination. Despite his good performance due to the solid depth of the Doosan infield, it took him a long time to make the leap to the starting lineup.
Since becoming Doosan’s main shortstop in the 2014 season, Kim Jae-ho has jumped to the top of the KBO league starting in the 2015 season. He had a batting average of 0.307 (126 hits in 410) in 133 games in 2015 with three homers, 50 RBIs, 63 runs scored, and seven stolen bases with an OPS of 0.788, contributing to Doosan’s winning the Korean Series for the first time in 14 years. Not only did he win the Golden Glove in the shortstop category, but he also started the first WBSC Premier 12 national team, and enjoyed another victory with the national flag.
Kim Jae-ho also maintained his position as the No. 1 shortstop in the KBO League in the 2016 season. He had a batting average of 0.310 (129 hits in 416 times at bat) with seven homers, 78 RBIs and 69 runs scored with an OPS of 0.829 in 137 games, and displayed an airtight defense. He displayed robust performance as a key member of Doosan’s unified championship.
Kim Jae-ho broke his career high in the 2018 season. He had a batting average of 0.311 (125 hits in 402 at bats) in 131 games with 16 homers and 75 RBIs, 78 runs scored, and an OPS of 0.870. Kim Jae-ho had a strong presence in Doosan to become No. 1 in the regular league.
Kim Jae-ho added another winning ring for the 2019 season. He laid the groundwork for Doosan’s dramatic unified victory. In the Korean Series against the Kiwoom Heroes, he played his part in four games with four hits and three RBIs in 0.364 at-bats.
Kim Jae-ho has maintained his position as a Bears One Club Man since his debut in 2004. After obtaining his first career FA qualification after the end of the 2016 season, he stayed with a four-year jackpot contract worth a total of 5 billion won.
Even when he exercised his FA rights for the second time after the end of the 2020 season, Kim Jae-ho had no intention of leaving the Bears. Doosan also needed Kim Jae-ho, who was a franchise star and showed rusty skills. He signed a three-year total of 2.5 billion won.
Kim showed no signs of an “aging curve” in the 2023 season. With a batting average of 0.283 (247 times at bat) and 70 hits, three homers, 29 RBIs and four steals in 91 games, he received the most outstanding report card among shortstop in his team.
Doosan is lacking shortstop resources as Ahn Jae-seok, a promising shortstop who joined the team as the first designation in 2021, joined the military early last month. Although there is Park Joon-young, a big-name prospect who was recruited as a compensation player for Park Se-hyuk’s transfer to the NC Dinos FA last year, he has no full-time experience. Only with the presence of Kim Jae-ho will it be easier to operate the 2024 season.
Doosan plans to continue negotiations with Kim Jae-ho. If Kim Jae-ho’s salary negotiations are completed as soon as possible, the possibility of joining the second-tier spring camp cannot be ruled out.
Meanwhile, Doosan`s promising left-hander Choi Seung-yong failed to participate in the spring camp for the Futures League due to fatigue fracture in his left elbow. For the time being, Doosan will concentrate on rehabilitation in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, where its second-tier team is located.
Doosan explained, “Choi Seung-yong plans to schedule a training schedule after conducting a reexamination (injury area) in three weeks.”
Choi Seung-yong, born in 2001, graduated from Sorae High School in 2021, played in the second round and 20 times overall in the rookie draft. He showed remarkable growth with three wins, six losses, one save and an ERA of 3.97 in 111 innings in 34 games last year.
Choi also shone in the 2023 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) held in November last year. With two hits, one run and five strikeouts and an ERA of 2.45 in three games, three ⅔ innings, he served as a key left-handed bullpen for the Korean baseball team.
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop had been planning to recruit Choi as the starting pitcher for this season, following Raul Alcantara, Brandon Waddell and Kwak Bin. However, as Choi will undergo rehabilitation through mid-February due to an unexpected injury, he will have to select as many candidates as possible during the Sydney spring camp in Australia.
Doosan’s first team has been conducting a spring camp in preparation for the 2024 season in Blacktown, Sydney, Australia, since the 31st of last month.