Former Lotte Giants players have high hopes for the Korean Series. Kang Min-ho of the Samsung Lions, who joined the team in 2004, hasn’t played in the Korean Series in 20 years, and Son As-seob, who joined the team in 2007, is set to break Park Yong-taek’s record for most hits next season, but has yet to play in the Korean Series. Joon-woo Jeon, who recently made 4.7 billion won over four years as a secondary free agent, also joined the team in 2008 and has yet to play in the Korean Series.
However, there is someone who has been away from the Korean Series even longer. KT Wiz’s Woo Kyu-min (38).
After joining the LG Twins with the 19th pick in the 2003 second round after graduating from Humungo, Woo pitched for LG until 2016, when he became a free agent in 2017 and moved to the Samsung Lions, where he played for seven years. He was selected by the KT Wiz in the second round of the Korean Baseball Organization draft on April 22.
In his 21 years as a pro, he has yet to pitch in the Korean Series.
He has made it to the playoffs four times, but not the Korean Series. With LG, he made the playoffs in 2013, 2014, and 2016, but lost all three. In 2021, we had a chance to finish tied for first place with KT and go directly to the Korean Series, but we lost the best-of-seven series and were swept by the Doosan Bears in the playoffs.
Coming to KT in the second round of the draft could be Woo’s chance to win the Korean Series.
KT decided that they needed a veteran to replace the departed Kim Jae-yoon and provide an anchor in the bullpen, and they chose Woo Gyu-min.
Given the current lineup, the LG Twins, who have not won a championship in 29 years, still have good power, and KT, who made a miraculous comeback from last place to the Korean Series runner-up, has the power to be considered the favorite. The starting lineup is solid. If they re-sign William Cuevas and Wes Benjamin, they will have a solid four-man starting rotation with Ko Young-pyo and Uhm Sang-baek. Closer Kim Jae-yoon left for Samsung, but the bullpen should be much better than this year in terms of quantity and quality with holdover Park Young-hyun, who has improved this season, Son Dong-hyun and Lee Sang-dong, plus Kim Min-soo Park returning from injury, and Woo Kyu-min.
The batting lineup should be able to maintain its strength from this year. The batting lineup could be even better if Kang Baek-ho, who has been injured and underperforming this year, returns. If the new foreign batsman who will replace Anthony Alford performs well, the team will be able to compete with LG for the title.
Woo will be 22 years old next year. He will challenge for the championship with his friend Park Kyung-soo and junior Park Byung-ho, who also played for LG. Can the secondary draft, which has been revived after four years, be a ‘godsend’ for KT and Woo Gyu-min?