Since general manager Seong Min-kyu took office in 2020, Lotte has always been at the center of the topic. The atmosphere of something changing, represented by ‘process’, was clearly readable. This aroused great expectations from fans. However, the results did not come out anyway. They failed to advance to the postseason for three consecutive years, which came as more frustration to fans.
However, what is certain is that Lotte has undergone a tremendous change in the organization of the team in the past four years. The existing veteran players who left the team one by one, sometimes en masse, were filled with players recruited through drafts, trades, or free agents (FA). Compared to the list of camps 4-5 years ago, it is not easy to find traces of that time now.
At the time of the 2019 Okinawa camp, Lotte was a typical veteran team. There were many players in their 30s such as Song Seung-jun, Son Seung-rak, Ko Hyo-jun, and Yoon Gil-hyun. The situation was not much different for Yasujin, represented by Lee Dae-ho, Chae Tae-in, Lee Byeong-gyu, and Jeon Jun-woo. The fact that there are many players with their own careers can be a positive point, but on the contrary, there was also a negative point that it is not strange when the decline begins. And in fact, Lotte couldn’t get out of that swamp in 2019.
Of the players who joined the Guam camp in 2023, few were on the first call-up list at the time. In 2019, catcher Na Kyun-an (formerly known as Na Jong-deok) is on the pitching team, while Kim Won-joong, Yun Seong-bin, Jung Sung-jong, and then rookie Seo Jun-won remain. The catcher lineup has all changed. As fielders, Jeon Jun-woo, Jung-hoon, Han Dong-hee, and Ko Seung-min were among the players who were named in this camp. Almost 70% have changed. 메이저놀이터
Rapid change is not necessarily a good thing, but it can be good evidence to see that Lotte’s constitution has changed little by little. In particular, it can be seen that there are more young players in their early 20s than at the time, and this can be interpreted as the fact that Lotte has steadily gathered future engines in the draft.
Just because you’re younger doesn’t mean you’ll get better just because a new player comes in. However, this year, we are raising expectations by recruiting various resources from outside. First of all, Yoo Kang-nam, Noh Jin-hyuk, and Han Hyun-hee, who were recruited as free agents, were naturally on the camp roster, and Cha Woo-chan, Shin Jeong-rak, Kim Sang-soo, Yoon Myeong-jun, and Ahn Kwon-soo were also included. How well they fit into the team is expected to decorate the topic of this camp.
Recruiting a large number of middle-legged players as free agents who will play a key role among the existing veterans and young players can be a good way to capture both the current strength and the future. It is expected to be Lotte’s year 2023, which is gathering expectations and interest.