“It is possible to engage in a close match by playing a strategy and squeezing points, but it is difficult to build a multiplier in the pennant race without a player who can hit long shots.”
In the words of one professional baseball manager. In order to compete in the 144 games every year, it is essential to arrange physical strength. In the meantime, you need to accumulate as many multipliers as possible, but if there are a lot of close matches, the fatigue of the players will be much higher. Even if you can win a thrilling victory by using strategy in close matches, you cannot endure all 144 games like that. Only when there is a game where players can hit a long hit and win with a large score difference, it becomes easier to manage the season while properly arranging the physical strength of the players.
The NC Dinos spent 35 billion won in the past two years just catching beasts in the FA market. Ahead of last season, outfielders Park Kun-woo (33) and Son Ah-seop (35) were recruited for 10 billion won in 6 years and 6.4 billion won in 4 years, respectively. This winter, they changed the best lineup by capturing infielder Park Min-woo (30) for 14 billion won for 5+3 years and recruiting catcher Park Se-hyeok for 4 years and 4.6 billion won. Park Gun-woo, Son Ah-seop, and Park Min-woo are all top-tier hitters in the league with a career batting average of over 0.320, and Park Se-hyeok needs a catcher with rich experience in the first team, so he invested as above.
The problem is the sluggishness. Park Kun-woo (10 home runs) was the only hitter among the four hitters who hit a double-digit home run last year. Park Min-woo and Park Se-hyuk have never recorded a double-digit home run season throughout their careers. Son A-seop achieved double-digit home runs for 8 consecutive years from 2013 to 2020, but only hit 3 home runs in 2021 and 4 home runs last year.
Long hitters who will support the 35 billion won rifle unit have left NC one after another in the past two years. Ahead of last season, Na Seong-beom (34), who boasted a total of 233 home runs, transferred to the KIA Tigers as a free agent for 6 years and 15 billion won. Catcher Yang Eui-ji (36), who hit 103 home runs over the past four years and played an active role as the undisputed number 4 hitter, signed a free agent contract with Doosan Bears this winter for 4+2 years and 15.2 billion won.
NC coach Kang In-kwon consistently appealed for the need for Roh Jin-hyeok (34). He is also an infielder with high defensive utilization as a shortstop and third baseman, and has hit 56 homers over the past four years, making it the second highest team home run contribution after Yang Eui-ji and Na Seong-beom. However, Noh Jin-hyuk also left the team after signing a contract with the Lotte Giants for 4 years and 5 billion won.
Now, the only corner to trust is Park Seok-min, a 38-year-old veteran. Park Seok-min is a proven third baseman with a total of 268 home runs. When he transferred from Samsung Lions to NC as a free agent ahead of the 2016 season, he received the highest treatment ever for 4 years and 9.6 billion won, and before the 2020 season, he signed another contract with NC for 2+1 years and 3.4 billion won to increase his value.
However, in July 2021, Seok-min Park had a drinking party in violation of the Corona 19 quarantine rules at the expedition accommodation, and went downhill while receiving a 72-game suspension from the KBO and a 50-game suspension from the club. He joined after completing his disciplinary action in June of last year, but had a batting average of 0.149 (7 hits in 47 at-bats) in 16 games, and it was difficult to properly train defenses due to back pain, ending the season in the 2nd team.
Director Kang still wants to trust Park Seok-min. Throughout the winter, he often interviewed Park Seok-min to check his readiness, and expected a rebound in the new season, saying, “Park Seok-min says he is in good shape.” Park Seok-min needs to give shortstop Kim Joo-won (21) and first baseman Oh Young-soo (23) time to grow, filling the void left by Noh Jin-hyeok and Park Jun-yeong (26, Doosan Yang Eui-ji) at third base. . 스포츠토토
Park Seok-min stood at the crossroads of retirement as the FA contract period ended after last season, but showed a willingness to revive and signed for an annual salary of 50 million won this year and remained in NC. NC gave Park Seok-min a chance to recover, leaving behind the recent trend of calmly organizing veterans. Can Seok-Min Park use this opportunity to alleviate Director Kang’s worries?