In terms of his career as a player, it is true that he is focused on Kim Min-sung. Kim Min-sung is a veteran infielder who has entered his 18th year as a professional player this year, appearing in 1,696 games with a batting average of .269, 1406 hits, 131 homers, 725 RBIs and 52 stolen bases. Last year, he played as a utility player for LG, and left a batting average of .249 with eight homers, 41 RBIs and two stolen bases in 112 games.
Although Kim Min-soo was not a prominent player in the first division yet, he was evaluated as a player with the potential to grow into a big infielder. Kim Min-soo, who joined Lotte in 2017, seemed to be getting closer to the starting lineup of the first division with a batting average of .241 three homers and 25 RBIs in 82 games in 2021, but he only had a batting average of .257 with 11 RBIs in 57 games in 2022 and had to be satisfied with leaving a batting average of .209 with 25 games last year. The Futures League has a batting average of .331 seven homers and 35 RBIs in 56 games. He already has nothing more to show in the second division.
Analysts say that he is capable of playing various positions in the infield and has punch power. Is that why? There have been quite a few teams showing interest in Kim Min-soo. Last year, a Lotte official even said, “One of the players who has received the most trade inquiries to our team is Kim Min-soo.” Not only Lotte but also other teams are viewing it as “time to burst.”
Will the trade be a turning point that can change the life of baseball for Kim Min-soo? Contacting “Spot TV News” on Wednesday, Kim Min-soo said, “The article came out first before the team made the announcement. I was working out at the time. People around me called me a lot. I had no thoughts until then. But when I got a call from the team the next morning, I felt dizzy.”
Even before the announcement was made by the club, Kim Min-soo had to receive numerous calls from people around him as news of the trade spread through articles. “My acquaintances around me said, ‘I think it’s a good thing,’ and there were people who were disappointed,” Kim Min-soo said, “My wife is in Yangsan, and my wife says, ‘I’m half worried and half excited.’
Now, LG, which Kim Min-soo should play for, boasts a strong player base as the unified champion last year. Competition is expected to be inevitable. In fact, the competition was calm. “When I was at Lotte, I used to say it was an opportunity, but it was always a competition. I think any player is always in competition,” Kim said. “Now, if there is a position that I want in a new team, I think I can prepare well for that position.”
He is already busy preparing for this season. “I personally didn’t like this season,” said Kim Min-soo, who looked back on last season. “I started working out nonstop after finishing camp. I think I’m in really good physical condition,” he said confidently.
“Personally, I think the batting average should increase and the slugging percentage should increase,” he said, focusing on his growth in batting this year. “There will be a part that the new team wants. I will try to fit that part well,” he said, vowing to become a player who contributes to the team in accordance with the direction the team wants.
Kim Min-soo has been a highly anticipated player among Lotte fans as he played for Lotte for seven years alone. “I could feel that there were many fans who loved me through this trade,” Kim said. “I am sorry that I have not been able to show satisfactory performance of support despite this. I am grateful and sorry the most,” Kim said to Lotte fans.
Although his baseball career did not blossom at Lotte, LG could be a new opportunity for him. Several players have marked a turning point in their baseball careers through trade. It remains to be seen what this trade will mean in Kim’s baseball life.