Annual salary – Lee Jung-hoo – WBC, why Kang Baek-ho should be good at baseball

Kang Baek-ho, the star of professional baseball KT Wiz, has finally completed the contract for the 2023 season. On the 29th, the KT team officially announced that it had signed an annual salary contract with 61 people who were subject to renewal this season.

The highest increase rate within the team was Eom Sang-baek (800 → 200 million won, increase rate 150%), and the highest increase was recorded by Kim Min-soo (115 million → 250 million, 135 million, 117% increase rate). Kim Min-hyeok (150 million won), infielder Oh Yoon-seok (120 million won), and catcher Kim Joon-tae (100 million won) have newly joined the ranks of billionaires. 먹튀검증

Kang Baek-ho, who attracted attention, was the last to stamp, and the final salary for the 2023 season is known to be 290 million won. It is a whopping 47.3% cut from the 550 million won received last season, which is effectively cut in half.

Kang Baek-ho had his worst season since his professional debut due to an injury in the 2022 season. He appeared in only 62 games and had a .245 batting average with 58 hits, 6 homers and 29 RBIs. For most of his records, he suffered the humiliation of breaking his career low. KT, who rose to the top in the 2021 season amidst the extreme sluggishness of Kang Baek-ho, who exceeded expectations, had to be content with stepping on fall baseball by dropping out of the semi-playoffs in fourth place last year.

Both the player and the club had the same consensus that cuts were inevitable because he had not played his role as a key player, but the problem was the scale. Kang Baek-ho had a long tug-of-war, revealing a difference of opinion with the club in salary negotiations, and in the aftermath, joining the spring camp, which had to prepare for the new season, was delayed.

Public reaction was generally poor. Fans looked negatively at the fact that Kang Baek-ho, who achieved lower-than-expected results, was fighting a pride battle with the club over salary issues. Of course, some advocated that considering his contributions so far, his pride should not be shaken too much just because he was sluggish for a season. However, the club was not stingy with compensation for Kang Baek-ho’s performance.

KT, as a representative player of the club, put effort into nurturing Kang Baek-ho from his early debut. Kang Baek-ho, who started with an annual salary of 27 million won in his rookie year, achieved an annual salary increase of 344.4%, the club’s highest annual salary increase rate in the second year, and quickly rose to the ranks of billionaires. Since then, his annual salary has steadily risen from 210 million → 310 million, and in 2022, the fifth year, he joined the ranks of the high-paying annual salary of a whopping 550 million won.

As we have recently entered an era where a ‘non-FA super-large multi-year contract’ is possible even before obtaining FA qualification, there was a prospect that KT would not spare Kang Baek-ho at least his pride, even considering the future. However, the club’s choice was also a large cut through the official annual salary calculation system, rather than applying exceptional preferential treatment only to Kang Baek-ho.

Kang Baek-ho accepted the club’s proposal and dramatically concluded negotiations only on the night of the 28th, the day before the team’s spring camp departure date. Kang Baek-ho, whose annual salary contract was delayed, plans to join the team two days later on the 31st, leaving for Arizona with the club staff due to problems such as flight reservations.

Only you know what kind of mind Kang Baek-ho had when he signed the stamp. What is clear is that for Kang Baek-ho, this cut should serve as a stimulus for better development, rather than just sadness or disappointment towards the club.

The fact that the gap between Kang Baek-ho and Lee Jung-hoo, who were mentioned as rivals until a year or two ago, widened even more from the 2022 season, gives Kang Baek-ho another stimulus. Lee Jung-hoo won the batting title for the second consecutive year with a batting average of 0.349 in the 2022 season, as well as dominating the league by dominating five titles, including the most hits (193), RBIs (113), on-base percentage (0.421), and slugging percentage (0.575). He even won the title of Most Valuable Player (MVP).

On the 20th, he announced that he had signed a contract with Kiwoom for an annual salary of 1.1 billion won for the 2023 season. Lee Jung-hoo, who received 750 million won last year, is the first to break through the annual salary of 1 billion won with a single-year contract, excluding cases where he returned from playing in the KBO league as a free agent and overseas as his annual salary rose by 350 million won (46.7%). became a player Lee Jung-hoo’s possibility of challenging the major leagues at the end of the 2023 season is being talked about strongly, and it is known that there is great interest in the local area.

Kang Baek-ho has a different style from Lee Jung-hoo, but he has often been compared in terms of star quality or genius player who can represent the league. However, compared to Lee Jung-hoo, who is constantly improving and improving his weaknesses every year, Kang Baek-ho’s growth is disappointing. His durability and resistance to injury is also an important skill for a professional player. Also, apart from his injury, his slugging power has been on the decline since setting a career high of 29 homers in 2018.

For Kang Baek-ho, the 2023 season is an important season at the crossroads of whether to leap forward as a first-class player or remain as a player who has not grown compared to his talent. Fortunately, the sluggishness of last season was largely due to injuries, and most experts evaluated that it was not a particularly technical problem or slump, so there is ample room for a rebound. In fact, Kang Baek-ho showed some hope at the end of the season and in the postseason.

Moreover, Kang Baek-ho was also named on the final list of the WBC (World Baseball) national team for the 2023 season. In fact, the selection of Kang Baek-ho was controversial because it was a level that should not have been selected considering only the performance of last season, and it was not that there were no alternatives such as Oh Jae-il and Chae Eun-seong or the sluggish performance in the last international competition. However, it is analyzed that the potential of Kang Baek-ho, who is difficult to give up, and the fact that the command tower is coach Lee Kang-cheol of the same team, who knows him better than anyone else, had a great impact.

It is also an opportunity for revenge for Kang Baek-ho, who suffered from extreme sluggishness at the Tokyo Olympics and had to suffer from the chewing gum controversy. If he shows his value here, it can be of great help to make up for his sluggishness in the last season and to appeal his value on the overseas stage in the future.

From the half-cut salary, comparison with rival Lee Jung-hoo, and the WBC, Kang Baek-ho is overflowing with motivational factors to prove his worth in the 2023 season. And the true value of his player can only be shown through his skills on the baseball field, not at the negotiating table with the club.

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