Lee Jung-hoo, a key fielder who announced his entry into the U.S. Major League next year, ended the season after undergoing surgery due to an ankle injury, and ace Ahn Woo-jin is also scheduled to undergo elbow ligament joint surgery.
Kiwoom, who sent out Choi Won-tae, a former national team starter, shortly after Lee Jung-hoo’s surgery was confirmed and was nominated by the LG Twins in the first round of the 2024 rookie draft, can nominate up to 14 players in the rookie draft to be held at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul on the 14th.
This is the result of securing three nominations through a trade for the club’s future.
The draft, which will be nominated from the first round to the 11th round in reverse order of 2022 performance, can take up to 11 players per team by team.
On top of that, Kiwoom has one more first-round nomination through a trade with LG, one more second-round nomination received by sending catcher Joo Hyo-sang to the KIA Tigers, and one more third-round nomination secured from the Samsung Lions when recruiting infielder Lee Won-seok as a trade.
Thanks to this, one more player can be selected from the first round to the third round with excellent potential.
This draft is characterized by many pitchers with excellent skills.
Jang Hyun-suk (Masan Yongma High School) signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Major League, but players with fastballs and control such as Hwang Joon-seo (Jangchung High School), Cho Dae-hyun (Gangneung High School), Yuk Sun-yeop (Jangchung High School), and Won Sang-hyun (Busan High School) will wait for the club’s choice.
The 2017 season is one of the best drafts in Kiwoom’s history.
Lee Jung-hoo, who was brought in as the first designation that year, grew into the best star player representing the KBO League, and Kim Hye-sung, the second first-round designated player, also became one of the league’s leading infielders.
On top of that, pitcher Kim Jae-woong, who was selected in the sixth round, has grown steadily and has been a key bullpen pitcher for the team since 2021, and last year, he even experienced the Korean Series as a closer.
It is difficult to predict that Kiwoom’s new player will immediately help its power from the 2024 season.
Some players have been impressive since their first year of debut, but it is only an unusual case.
Kiwoom, ahead of the 2024 season without Lee Jung-hoo and Ahn Woo-jin, does not expect the players selected in the draft to fill their gaps.
However, as we have to focus on thickening our power in the next few years, I think this draft, which can select up to 16 players, will determine the team’s fate in the future.
Ko Hyung-wook, head of Kiwoom, declined to comment on the draft strategy because there was such a fierce tact operation.
Kiwoom’s first nomination is LG’s 8th overall in the 1st round, and it immediately exercises its 9th nomination in the 1st round, which is the original club’s share.
They are 16 and 19 overall in the second round and 24 and 29 in the third round.
“Our first nomination order is number 8, so for now, the nomination strategy is bound to change depending on the nomination of other clubs,” Ko said