Lotte Giants’ Kim Sang-soo, 37, is a player full of confidence. That’s why he refuses to be labeled a veteran or a veteran outfielder.
Spring training and the beginning of the season are filled with excitement for the newcomers. In winter, it’s all about free agents and veterans. It’s a time for them to remind themselves of their value, look back on the year, and prove it.
He started the 2023 season with low expectations. However, he appeared in 66 games and pitched 52 innings, posting a respectable 4-2 record, one save, 18 holds, and a 3.12 ERA. The weakness of Lotte’s bullpen was the large gap between the top three, Choi Jun-yong, 토토사이트 Koo Seung-min, and Kim Won-joong, and he filled that gap with veteran majesty.
His experience and confidence as a former holder was the key to his comeback.
Kim Sang-soo hit his stride in 2016, when he was with Nexen. Since then, he’s played around 60 games every season, serving as a closing and must-win player. In 2019, when he turned 30, he won the hold king with 40 holds.
He exercised his first free agency rights in 2021, and after switching to SSG Landers in a sign-and-trade, he faltered. He played just eight games in 2022 and was released after the season.
At the time of his release, it was expected that he would have a hard time finding a new team. “I didn’t feel sick, but it was hard. My family was upset,” he said, adding that he even considered retirement.
However, the reality was hotter than expected. Everyone who cared about him discouraged him from retiring. “There are still teams that need you. Give it another shot,” they encouraged him.
“There’s no reason to blame SSG. I couldn’t do it,” he said to himself. Kim Sang-soo chose Lotte. He approached the season with the same determination as Bae, and was rewarded with a presence this year.
Kim Sang-soo was born in 1987.
That may not sound like much, but he’s still two years younger than Kim Jin-sung, who was all-around dominant for LG last year, appearing in 80 games, or Lim Chang-min (39), who signed as a free agent with Samsung after recording 26 saves as a closer for Kiwoom.
While age can be a hindrance, it is no longer a direct factor in valuation. A player’s fitness is key. Kim still has a powerful fastball in the low-to-mid 140s. His forkball is also excellent.
Lotte has been led on the mound by mid-level pitchers like Kim Won-joong and Park Se-woong. With Jeon Jun-woo in the outfield, it’s nice to have a solid veteran presence in the pitching staff in Kim Sang-soo.
Even in January, when he was inactive, Kim diligently went to Sajik Stadium to work on his body. “The more you work hard, the more confident you become, 토토사이트 순위 and that confidence shows in your performance,” he said.
With Kim Tae-hyung at the helm, Lotte is expected to spend the season focusing on performance rather than rebuilding. The three letters of Kim Sang-soo’s name are a big reason why.