December 7, 2018 is the day when a rare triangular trade was made in the history of the KBO League. Kiwoom, Samsung, and SSG 토토사이트 (above, based on the current club name) were looking for players who could scratch their itches, and the board grew, and a total of three players changed their uniforms.
At that time, while sending outfielder Koh Jong-wook to SSG, they received catcher Lee Ji-young from Samsung, and SSG sent outfielder Kim Dong-yeop to Samsung instead of acquiring Ko Jong-wook. At the time, Kiwoom had many evaluations that it put out the urgent fire by recruiting Lee Ji-young, who had a lot of experience in an urgent situation as a catcher. SSG needed a player with quick feet and good contact due to coach Yeom Kyung-yeop’s tendency, and Samsung needed a giant cannon with a relatively short distance to the fence. It was a trade in which the interests of the three teams matched well.
At this point, the team that laughed the loudest is definitely Kiwoom. After moving to Kiwoom, Lee Ji-young has become the team’s main catcher and is firmly guarding the home. Lee Ji-young played 452 games for four years from 2019 to last year and recorded a batting average of 0.281. As a catcher, Ji-Young Lee is known for stably leading the pitchers on the team and having solid defense. Even his offensive performance was not bad. By recruiting Lee Ji-young, Kiwoom even gained a side effect of rewriting the team’s catcher concept later.
Conversely, the days when SSG and Samsung laughed didn’t last that long. Ko Jong-wook met expectations with a batting average of 0.323 in 2019, but after that, his performance declined and he was pushed out of the main competition, and was eventually removed from the reserve list at the end of the 2021 season. Since the benefits obtained from the release were not deserved, SSG has left this triangular trade board. The only thing left now is Kim Dong-yeop.
Kim Dong-yeop, who showed his potential as a ’30 home run hitter’ by recording 22 home runs in 2017 and 27 home runs in 2018 during his SSG days, raised expectations by hitting 20 home runs in 115 games in 2020 after transferring to Samsung. He regarded him as a player who could expand further. However, in 2021 and 2022, it seems to be pushed out of the team’s competitive landscape with only 6 homers in total. His batting average (0.238 in 2021 and 0.221 in 2022) has dropped too much.
He is a player who is focused on long hits rather than contact in the first place. His defensive power was not up to expectations, so he had to create his own product value with long hits anyway. Samsung knew this and recruited him. However, his two years did not live up to expectations, and he was not even named on the first-team camp roster this year. Many batting leaders believed in Kim Dong-yeop’s potential and invested a long time, but coach Park Jin-man evaluated his performance objectively.
However, he is still only 33 years old. He has reached a considerable age, but he is not at the stage of giving up. Leaders in charge of Kim Dong-yeop’s conditioning agree that he is not a player whose innate strength can easily fall off. He is a player who still exudes anticipation that if there is an opportunity, he can hit again. Rather, starting the season in a low position may be a motivation or a turning point. Director Park Jin-man also declared that he would continue to watch his progress.
If Kim Dong-yeop gets out of the slump, the winner of the triangle trade will still be Kiwoom and finally Kiwoom. However, if Dong-yeop Kim gets back on the right track, the evaluation of the last page of the history of this trade may be slightly different. It is not immediately clear what kind of reversal awaits, but it is not over yet.