KIA has been playing without its top hitter, Na Sung-bum, for more than two months. Filling in for him are left fielder Ko Jong-wook (34) and right-handers Lee Woo-sung (29) and Lee Chang-jin (32). Go Jong-wook and Lee Woo-sung have naturally split time in left and right field, while Lee Chang-jin has alternated with Go Jong-wook depending on the situation.

Recently, Ko Jong-wook’s batting average has dropped a bit, so Lee Chang-jin has been playing more in left field. When a left-handed pitcher is facing, Lee Chang-jin and when a right-handed pitcher is facing, Go Jong-wook, but recently, Lee Chang-jin has been used a little more regardless of the pitcher.

On the other hand, Lee Woo-sung is more reliable in defense and on the basepaths, so he is used in right field. Lee has even been used in the cleanup trio lately. The 95-year-old trio has had a surprisingly large impact on KIA’s offense this season.

Lee is batting .333 with five home runs, 18 RBIs, and an OPS of .886 in 48 games, Go Jong-wook is batting .293 with one home run, 메이저놀이터 10 RBIs, and an OPS of .712 in 50 games, and Lee Chang-jin is batting .250 with one home run, 14 RBIs, and an OPS of .689 in 44 games. None of these players were designated for assignment by KIA. They were released or traded by other teams.

Lee Chang-jin was acquired on June 7, 2018, when Oh Jun-hyuk (SSG) was sent to KT. Lee Woo-sung was acquired on July 6, 2019, by sending Lee Myung-gi to NC in a one-for-one trade. Ko Jong-wook was acquired after a trial when he was released by SSG after the 2021 season.

Manager Kim Jong-kook said before the Gwangju NC game on the 16th, “The talent was there. Woo Sung-i was also a long hitter in the NC, so I brought him in a trade. Now his accuracy has improved, and his defense and baserunning have also improved. Chang Jin-i was an infielder at first. He gained confidence when he moved to the outfield. Last year, he switched to a toe tap, which improved his accuracy. Jong-wook has been slumping lately, but he’s doing very well for his salary (70 million won).”

In fact, Lee Chang-jin reached his peak last year, four years after being traded, and Lee Woo-sung also reached his peak this year, four years after being traded. The P&L calculation for the trade is now positive. On the other hand, Lee’s trade partner Oh Jun-hyuk hasn’t had much of an impact since moving from KT to SSG. Lee Woo-seong’s trade partner, Lee Myung-ki, experienced an integrated championship in 2020 with NC, but his production has dropped significantly since then due to the COVID-19 sulpan pandemic. He signed with Hanwha in the 2022-2023 free agency, but has only appeared in three games this season.

It’s a truism in professional sports that trade p&l calculations should be done with a long breath, but Kia’s four years of patience have been anything but simple. The team hadn’t made the postseason before last year, but their refusal to let go of their trade acquisitions finally paid off this year.

It’s the rebellion of a trio of 95-year-olds. Although KIA is running a tough race without Na Sung-bum, it is also significant to see the trio of 95-year-olds acquired 메이저도메인 from the outside maximizing their use and leading the team. “It’s a successful trade,” coach Kim Jong-kook said with a smile.

Na Sung-bum, however, is on a timetable to return. “He has to play defense in the Futures League and come to the first team,” Kim said. When he comes back, he’ll have to play designated hitter. Choi Hyung-woo can also play left field. I think Sung-beom should play in the Futures League first. If he gets tired, it might delay (his return).”

The 95-year-old trio will either coexist with Na Sung-bum next month or enter a new form of competition. At this point, Lee Woo-sung, who has the best bat of the trio, is likely to move to left field. If Choi Hyung-woo plays left field and Na Sung-bum is the designated hitter, Lee could play right field.

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