Until last season, the two players were responsible for Samsung’s team atmosphere and performance. From this season, they will meet as enemies and compete against each other. This is the story of Kim Sang-soo and Koo Ja-wook.
Kim Sang-soo and Koo Ja-wook are franchise stars representing Samsung, who led Samsung’s other lines along with Park Hae-min (LG) in the mid-2010s. However, ahead of this season, Kim Sang-su signed a 4-year contract with kt for a total of 2.9 billion won, and the ‘Park-Kim-Gu’ trio was completely disbanded.
Kim Sang-soo recalled his feelings at the time of the transfer, saying, “(Old) Ja-wook was at the camp at the time. I was very sorry, but he left a message of congratulations.” Koo Ja-wook also expressed his feelings, saying, “He was a senior I respected since my school days, but it’s a pity that he left. I hope he does well there as well.”
However, Jeong is just Jeong, and in the baseball field, it is a position where you can be verified with your skills. Both players showed poor form last season. It should show a rebound this season.
Kim Sang-soo only played 72 games last season due to frequent injuries. His performance also fell short of expectations with 59 hits in 235 at-bats (2 homers), 29 RBIs, 30 runs scored, and a batting average of 0.251 and 0.628 OPS. He also underperformed with WAR and wRC+ at 0.56 and 75.2 respectively.
In the first half alone, he played 83 at-bats and was sluggish with a batting average of 0.164 and an OPS of 0.512. However, he managed to bounce back with a batting average of 0.290 and an OPS of 0.682 in 177 plate appearances in the second half. In particular, his batting average in scoring position was 0.300, showing off his clutch ability.
His first year at kt has a good chance of starting as a shortstop. This is because Shim Woo-jun, the main shortstop, is entering Sangmu due to military service issues. kt succeeded in rebounding Park Byeong-ho, who had been sluggish for the past two seasons, by recruiting him as a free agent. Kim Sang-soo also had poor results in the last two seasons. Park Byeong-ho is kt aiming for part 2.
Ja-wook Koo, who won the first Golden Glove in his life with a batting average of 30% in the 2021 season, recorded 20 (home runs)-20 (stealing bases). His 5-year total of 12 billion won, and even a non-FA multi-year contract, made great expectations last season.
However, that expectation was completely wrong. From the beginning of the season, he suffered from frequent injuries such as being infected with Corona, and in the end, he only played 99 games and was sluggish with a batting average of 0.291 and an OPS of 0.736. He played less than 100 games for the first time in his life, and WAR and wRC + also fell significantly compared to the 2021 season (WAR 5.01, wRC + 134) with 1.91 and 107.1, respectively.
When Koo Ja-wook, who should play a role in the center line, was sluggish, Samsung couldn’t cheer up either. Despite the superpower of changing to an acting manager system, it ended up staying in 7th place and failing to advance to the postseason in a year.
Knowing that he was not enough, Ja-wook Koo himself participated in the team finishing training held in Okinawa, Japan last fall. Without exception, Koo Ja-wook participated in intensive training and worked hard to find his former self by sweating heavily with young players. 먹튀검증
Following Park Hae-min last season, he failed to catch Kim Sang-soo and Oh Seon-jin this season. In a situation where young players such as Kim Ji-chan and Lee Jae-hyun have to settle down, Ja-wook Koo must play the role of a proper pillar. Samsung is waiting for Koo Ja-wook to rebound.
Two players who were colleagues at Samsung will meet as enemies on the professional stage starting this season. Even though the teams are different, they promised to support each other. The performance of the two players this season is noteworthy.