“30 homers, 100 RBIs, we’ll win the championship, haha.”

“30 homers, 100 RBIs, we’ll win the championship, haha.”

KT Wiz manager Lee Kang-cheol is teaming up with Mel Rojas Jr. again. If Rojas can retain the power he had before leaving Korea, KT will have a better chance of knocking on the door of the Korean Series once again next season.

KT chose Rojas as its new foreign bat for the 2024 season. They signed him for a total of $900,000. Rojas is a part of KT’s history. Rojas was the KBO’s longest-serving foreigner when he joined KT in the 2017 season and played for four years. In four seasons, Rojas appeared in 511 games, batting .322 with 132 home runs and 409 RBIs.

In 2020, he played in 142 games, batted .340 with 47 home runs, 135 RBIs, 192 hits, 116 runs scored, a slugging percentage of 4.1, and an on-base percentage of 6.8, and won four batting titles (home runs, runs scored, and slugging percentage). It was the first MVP honor for KT since its inception, and the first time a switch-hitter won the MVP award since the KBO began.

He joined the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball for a large sum of money, but it was a disastrous two-year stint. He then played in the Dominican Winter League and the Mexican League. He is now in his mid-30s. So why did Lee and KT choose Rojas again?

“Rojas was my first choice because I thought the other candidates were ambiguous or unsure. The coaching staff and front office all agreed. When I saw him recently, 먹튀검증 he had lost weight compared to when he left Korea, and he still had the power to hit the ball. Of course, we thought he would adapt quickly to our team and the KBO, so we decided to go with the lesser of two evils.”

If Rojas can hit 47 home runs and 135 RBIs like he did in the 2020 season, KT will be in good hands.

“If he hits 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, we’ll win the championship,” Lee joked, before adding, “Realistically, 20 home runs and a few RBIs would be great.”

KT has had 15 home runs and 70 RBIs from foreign hitters this season. That’s not bad, but it was a disappointment in the postseason. In five playoff games against the NC Dinos, he batted 1-for-4 with one home run and one RBI, and in five games of the Korean Series against the LG Twins, he batted 1-for-5 with one RBI. “I think Alford’s eagerness to re-sign became a poison,” Lee said. On the other hand, Lee believes that if Rojas had been in the same situation, he would have been able to come up with a hit to save a runner on third base. Lee worked with Rojas in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, so he knows his style well.

Alford’s defense has also been a weakness since the regular season. In order to use Kang Baek-ho as a designated hitter to some extent, the defense of a foreign hitter must be backed up, and Rojas’ defense was top-notch when he played in the KBO.

Meanwhile, KT also completed the signing of Benjamin on the 12th, finalizing the Rojas-Cuevas-Benjamin foreign system. Lee said of the two re-signed pitchers, 안전놀이터 “They are the best options at this point. There are no guarantees that we can get better pitchers. I’m satisfied.”

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

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