1-3R A whopping 6 picks available…Draft ‘big hand’ Kaepernick, wisdom or gamble?
With trades big and small, the draft picks have been piling up, and there are six players available in the 1-3R. The Kiwoom Heroes have the potential to be a game-changer in the rookie draft.
In a trade with the LG Twins on Sept. 29, Kiwoom sent pitcher Choi Won-tae and received pitcher Kim Dong-gyu and infielder Lee Ju-hyung, along with a 2024 first-round rookie pick.
As eye-catching as the players are, it’s the rookie pick that’s even more eye-catching.
Kiwoom acquired a second-round pick in a trade with the KIA Tigers last November, sending away catcher Joo Hyo-sang, and a third-round pick and pitcher Kim Tae-hoon in exchange for infielder Lee Won-seok in a trade with the Samsung Lions in April.메이저놀이터
With the addition of a first-round pick in this trade, Kiwoom can now select two players in each of the first through third rounds. They were granted the rights to select prospects #8 and #9 in the first round, #16 and #19 in the second round, and #24 and #29 in the third round.
In other words, out of the 30 best players on the national high school and college scene this year, a whopping six will be part of the Hero Corps. It’s a year with a lot of high-potential pitching prospects, so Kiwoom’s selection is a big deal.
“Our club prepared to strengthen our own power to conquer the top after the 2022 season, but we fell short of our expectations,” said Kiwoom President Ko Hyung-wook. “We decided to make this trade after finding a little more calm in the middle of the season and seriously thinking about strengthening the weak parts of our current power and strengthening our future power.” He explained the background.
Lee Ju-hyung and Kim Dong-gyu, who do not have much first-team experience, were also evaluated as high-potential prospects from their high school days as they were selected 13th overall in the second round in 2020 and 17th overall in the second round in 2023, respectively.
Lee joined the LG Twins with the 13th overall pick in the second round of the 2020 KBO Draft after graduating from Gyeongnam High School. A utility player who can play both infield and outfield positions, Lee is known for his quickness and precise hitting. After being released from the military in February, he appeared in 18 games this season, batting .267 with four hits, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Kim Dong-kyu, who was selected by the LG Twins in the second round of the 2023 KBO Draft with the 17th overall pick out of Seongnam High School, is a rookie right-hander with a sturdy build at 195 centimeters and 100 kilograms. Despite his size, he has good flexibility and utilizes his hardware to throw powerful pitches. He started nine games in the Futures League this season, going 3-5 with a 4.08 ERA.
“We expect Lee Joo-hyung, who has the advantage of precise hitting, to help us score runs, and Kim Dong-kyu, who is a starter, to help us in the bullpen,” said Ko Hyung-wook.
Of course, the injury to star outfielder Lee Jung-hoo had a major impact on the team, but Kiwoom, who has been consistently making trades, looked further ahead. The other nine teams will be watching Kiwoom’s moves closely as they strategize for the draft.