In April 2022, Kiwoom negotiated a trade with KIA for Park Dong-won (33‧LG), who had kept the team’s home for a long time. Basically, KIA, which was in a hurry to become a catcher, wanted Park Dong-won, and Park Dong-won, who wanted more playing time as a catcher, also preferred a transfer. Instead, Kiwoom received Kim Tae-jin, an infield utility resource, the right to pick in the second round of the 2023 rookie draft, and 1 billion won in cash.
The immediate power reinforcement was achieved by KIA. However, in the long run, the prospect that Kiwoom would benefit was not easy. Right away, Park Dong-won was scheduled to become a free agent (FA) after the season. He wasn’t sure if he could catch it. In addition, 1 billion won in cash was quite a lot of money to be responsible for the annual salary of Futures League players. Here, the 2nd round nomination right of the new draft was the 2nd 1st round nomination right at the time of the 2nd nomination.
Industry insiders say, “At the time, Kiwoom had a plan for the 2023 rookie draft in advance. Taejin Kim and 1 billion won were important, but in the end, Kiwoom responded to the trade because he was able to receive the second round nomination.” At a time when Park Dong-won and Lee Ji-young are gradually entering their mid-30s, it is believed that they responded to this trade because there was a strategy to designate two catchers in the upper round of the rookie draft. In the 2023 rookie draft, the catchers were decent.
Kiwoom, who finished all the actual draft market identification, moved as expected. Following the nomination of Wonju Juju Kim Gun-hee in the 6th overall ranking in the 1st round, Chungam High School catcher Kim Dong-heon was called in the 12th overall ranking in the 2nd round, which was KIA’s turn. An official who remembers the circumstances at the time said, “Kim Dong-heon was not a player who was talked about in the first round, but he was not a player who would go to the third round. In the end, Kiwoom picked Kim Dong-heon in the 12th place.” I couldn’t be sure if I would be able to pick him up in the (16th place),” he recalled. He achieved what he wanted by trading Park Dong-won.
Despite the trade of Park Dong-won, Kiwoom showed the potential to eventually go to the Korean Series. And Kim Dong-heon is growing rapidly as he gains experience in the first team this year. Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki praised Kim Dong-heon for having basically good qualities. He added, “I saw broadcasts in high school and training at camp. It’s just my mother’s style. It’s a style that suits the title of catcher.”
Kim Yong-yong, who served as an LG scout last year, and a member of the ‘Sporttime Baseball’ committee, also recalled that Kim Dong-heon had been a good member since high school. Commissioner Kim said, “(Nominated) among the catchers, the defense was the best.
“He is quick to notice and quickly grasps the situation. There is nothing missing from his personality. As a scout, when the team asks for something, he can judge that there is a high possibility of absorbing it right away.” He is also good, but as he gets older, he will become even more amazing. Baseball officials can’t help but like him,” he praised him sparingly.
As a result of the Park Dong-won trade, Kiwoom, who selected a catcher who will be responsible for the next 10 years of the team, began to spur that trend again. At the time of the trade with KIA after the season last year, instead of sending Joo Hyo-sang, he brought the 16th overall pick in the 2024 rookie draft. And at the time of the recent trade with Samsung, Kim Tae-hoon was sent, but he got the 24th overall pick with infielder Lee Won-seok. As a result, Kiwoom can exercise as many as five nominations within the overall 30 rankings in this draft.안전놀이터
Due to Kiwoom’s tendency, it is highly likely that the overall situation judgment of the 2024 rookie draft is over. It’s a reasonable interpretation that he traded in two turns because he was confident that he could pick the five players the team needed from within the top 30.
Unlike other clubs whose parent company reassuringly supports Kiwoom, it is difficult to buy a large free agent with a large amount of money due to its financial structure. It is also not guaranteed to protect a large free agency that has grown from within. Immediately after this season, Lee Jung-hoo, the leading hitter, plans to challenge the major leagues. Everyone expects Kiwoom’s power to weaken. At this point, the top nominees to be selected in the 2024 rookie draft can be a valuable resource for Kiwoom for the next 10 years. Kiwoom has a plan and has the power to execute according to the plan. Perhaps this is the team’s greatest strength.