KT Wiz officially announced on the afternoon of the 12th, We renewed our contract with foreign player Wes Benjamin for a total of 1.4 million dollars about 1.8 billion won. 스포츠토토
The KT club explained the reason for the renewal of the contract, saying, Benjamin, who is in his third season, played one of the pillars of the starting lineup, including 15 wins, 6 losses, and 3.54 ERA in 29 regular season games, and played an ace-class role in the postseason.
Benjamin wore the KT uniform as a substitute for ace William Cuevas, who left in May 2022 due to injury. At that time, Benjamin was only paid 331,000 dollars per year.
When he joined the team, Benjamin drew attention due to his relationship with Kia Tigers ace Yang Hyun-jong. He joined the Texas Rangers with Yang Hyun-jong who advanced to the Major League in the 2021 season, and Lee Kang-cheol asked his former student Yang Hyeon-jong for information on Benjamin, which helped him recruit him. “Yang strongly recommended Benjamin, Lee said.
Benjamin complained of elbow pain after three scoreless innings against Kiwoom in Gocheok on June 9, 2022, his KBO League debut, but he recovered his health 15 days later and pitched well with five wins, four losses and a 2.70 ERA in 17 games. He made quality starts in 11 out of 17 games, and both WHIP 1.02 and hit rate .216 showed figures worthy of foreigners. There was a little lack of luck in winning, but he has emerged as a pitcher who can take responsibility for at least six innings along with a quick adaptation to the league.
Benjamin also showed off his strong performance in big games. After surprisingly taking the mound as relief pitcher in Game 1 of the wild card game against KIA, he displayed a strikeout show for the KKK, and met Kiwoom at the semi-playoff, where he pitched seven innings with nine strikeouts and no run, to become the winning pitcher in Game 2. Benjamin renewed his contract with KT at 1.3 million U.S. dollars.
In fact, the prospects for Benjamin’s renewal of his contract seemed bleak until June this year. He was the ace in his team, but his frequent ups and downs only compounded Lee’s concerns. Meanwhile, Cuevas returned as a substitute for Bo Schulzer, and Benjamin became the second starting pitcher again as a left-handed pitcher. After gaining four wins and an ERA of 1.67 in four games in July, he went on a roll and finished the season with 15 wins and six losses and an ERA of 3.54 in 29 games. He ranked second in multiple wins after Eric Peddy of the NC Dinosaurs who won the MVP in the regular season.
Benjamin is famous for his great personality as well as his ability. Upon joining KT, he drew attention as a foreign player who eagerly studies the Korean language and culture, which was part of Benjamin’s efforts to communicate with his colleagues and make friends. As a result, he has shown exceptional team chemistry with his teammates at the ground and clubhouse. He has such a gentle personality that Lee Kang-chul said, It’s a problem because Benjamin is too nice.
“Benjamin is a left-hander who has already been verified in the KBO League, and I hope he will focus on the starting pitcher team next season,” said Na Do-hyun, head of KT, who renewed the contract.
KT extended its companionship with Benjamin and became the first among the 10 teams to complete the formation of foreign players for the 2024 season. KT re-introduced Mel Rojas Jr., the 2020 season MVP, for a total of 900,000 U.S. dollars on the 7th, and re-signed with William Cuevas, the foreign pitcher who won the title of this season’s undefeated winning percentage, for a total of 1.5 million dollars.
KT is expected to show off its strongest performance as a foreign player next season, with 3.8 million U.S. dollars in total, the MVP, the winner of the game and the runner-up in multiple wins. Cuevas, Rojas, and Benjamin will join the spring camp that will take place in Gijang, Busan in February next year.