SSG’s surprise trade, why they let their first-round pick walk away

They wanted a right-handed hitter for their immediate first-team needs and gave up a future first-round pitcher.

SSG made a one-for-one trade with Doosan on the 25th. SSG acquired outfielder Kang Jin-sung (30) from Doosan and gave up pitcher Kim Jung-woo (24) in the trade.

SSG first requested the trade from Doosan in order to strengthen its right-handed batting lineup. SSG general manager Kim Sung-yong said, “On the 21st, we first asked Doosan for Kang Jin-sung. Kang Jin-sung was a player we had been watching. While matching trade cards, Doosan wanted Kim Jung-woo, so the trade was finally finalized today.”

SSG coach Kim Won-hyung commented on the trade announcement ahead of the game against LG on the 25th, saying, “We made a good trade for the team’s needs. We need to have right-handed balance. I wanted a right-handed hitter with good contact ability rather than long batting power, and Jin-sung has some punching power. I think it’s a good fit.”

After joining the NC in the fourth round (33rd overall) in 2012, Kang moved to Doosan as compensation for free agent Park Geon-woo in 2022. In 2020, he batted .390 (122-for-395) with 12 home runs in 121 games for NC, helping the team win the overall title.

However, after moving to Doosan, he struggled last year with a 1-for-6 record in 40 games. This year, he played just three games in the first team (1-for-3) and mostly stayed in the second team. A trade could be the turning point in his rebound.

Kang is a versatile outfielder who can play corner outfield spots and defend first base. He is a right-handed resource alongside Kim Kang-min and Ha Jae-hoon in SSG’s left-handed outfield.

Manager Kim Sung-yong said, “Kang Jin-sung is strong against lefties. He is a mid-to-long-range hitter, and we expect him to hit a lot of home runs in our home stadium.”

Doosan traded away a pitching prospect for Kang Jin-seong, who hasn’t seen much playing time with the first team. The pitching prospect was a waste. Kim Jung-woo is a pitcher who joined SK (now SSG) in the 2018 first round. He is a military pitcher who completed his military service in 2020 and 2021. His career first-team record is 1 game, 1 inning, 1 run in the 2019 season 안전놀이터.

Kim has appeared in 14 games in the Futures League this season, posting a 2-1 record with four saves and a 1.84 ERA. Just starting to showcase his talent.

Manager Kim Won-hyung said of Kim Jong-woo, “He could have blossomed here, but he kept showing good results in the second team, and I was looking at his record and thinking that I should pay more attention to his timing. I think Doosan also saw him as a potential pitcher.” “If we really needed Kang Jin-sung, Doosan needed Kim Jung-woo. I hope he can go and pitch well. Not too good for us (laughs).”

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