The reunion they wanted, the MVP’s presence after four years is extraordinary

It was a reunion that both the organization and the players wanted. After a four-year absence, 2020 MVP Mel Rojas Jr. has already made his presence felt.

Rojas won the 2020 MVP award after blowing up the league with a .349 batting average (550-for-192), 47 home runs, 135 RBIs, and a 1.097 OPS. However, Rojas left KT, where he had been since 2017, to try his hand at Japanese professional baseball. He signed a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the Hanshin Tigers. KT gave him the best treatment in Korea, but he couldn’t compete with Japan’s money power.

The Japanese challenge ended in failure. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was unable to get his visa in time, making a late debut and struggling to adjust. He struggled in 60 games (189 at-bats, 41 hits), batting 2-for-1 with eight home runs, 21 RBIs and a .663 OPS, including a humiliating 21 at-bats without a hit. The following year was no different. In 89 games, he batted .224 (183-for-41) with nine homers, 27 RBIs, and a .732 OPS. Last year, he played in the Mexican League.

After four years, he returned to KT. He signed for a total of $900,000. Since Rojas’ departure, KT hasn’t had much of a foreign batting presence. Joilo Almonte, Jared Hoying (2021), Henry Ramos (2022), and Anthony Alford (2022-2023) played, but they didn’t have the same impact as Rojas. Injuries and underperformance led to many disappointing moments. That’s why KT brought Rojas back.

With the addition of Rojas, KT has a formidable central batting lineup of Rojas, Park Byung-ho, and Kang Baek-ho. It’s safe to say that it’s the best among the 10 clubs. “He’s a foreigner who has done well in my country,” said Park Byung-ho, the No. 4 hitter. From what I heard, he was a good teammate outside of baseball, respecting Korean baseball culture. I’m looking forward to that, and I think we’ll have to do well with each other while taking what we can from our conversations.” “It’s true that having a hitter who can hit long balls reduces the pressure. There are times when I’m not in good shape, so it will be easier if someone can take care of it,” he said.

Captain Park Kyung-soo also missed Rojas at times. “The other foreign batsmen have definitely done a good job. But at certain moments, I kept thinking about Rojas. I often talked about this with the players,” he said, adding, “Rojas wasn’t flashy in his batting and outfield defense, but he didn’t play badly. I think he’s going to be very good both offensively and defensively. He’s a player who can play a full season without injury, so I think he’s a great addition.”

Once Rojas was back in the KT uniform, he acted as if he had been with the team all along. He felt comfortable. “It’s nice to be back at home,” Rojas said. “There were times when I was away, but my teammates made me feel so comfortable and welcomed 토토사이트 순위 me back,” he says, adding, “There were offers from other countries, not just KT, but from the United States and Japan. However, there was no pressure to come back because I felt most comfortable and KT was my first choice,” he said.

Impact in 2020 KT is hoping for a 2020-level performance from Rojas, too. “I’m feeling really good and I’m preparing for it, thinking that I can definitely do something like 2020,” Rojas said. I can’t promise anything, but I’m aiming for 2020 numbers and doing my best,” Rojas emphasized.

Fans nicknamed him “Jo Won-dong Sexy Guy” because he played with his jersey unbuttoned. Cho Won-dong plays for KT Wiz Park in Suwon, South Korea. He won the MVP award in 2020 and won many individual titles. “I’m not greedy for individual titles anymore. He wants to give the fans a KBO League title.

He said, “I’ve had a lot of experiences since 2020. I think I can make good memories and show a new side of myself. I’ve already won a lot of individual titles, so I want to win the Korean Series.” “KT fans are the best fans in the KBO. They gave me a lot of support when I was playing in Korea, and even when I was playing in other countries, they said a lot of good things to me, so I was encouraged. Even after signing with KT, I received a lot of support. My goal is to stay healthy for the whole season and lead the team to the championship.”


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