Kang Baek-ho, groaning from injury, freezes his first salary since his debut? New season ransom

How will the salary for the 2023 season of Kang Baek-ho (24, KT Wiz), who has been drawing a steep upward curve every season, be set? He suffers from frequent injuries and has had his worst year since his debut, so his prospects don’t look bright.

Kang Baek-ho, who made his debut in 2018, showed off his talent without hesitation on the professional stage. In the first year of his debut, he hit 29 homers, the most home runs ever by a high school graduate rookie, and won the Rookie of the Year award, hitting double-digit homers for four consecutive years until 2021.

Although his home run count did not exceed his debut season, his accuracy improved.

He recorded a batting average of 0.330 or higher for three consecutive years from 2019 to 2021, and in 2021, he had a batting average of 0.347 with 16 homers, 102 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.971. Although he had fewer homers, he produced many doubles and was the league’s best hitter with an on-base percentage of .450. That year, KT achieved its first integrated championship, and Kang Baek-ho was an indispensable ‘contributor’.

In line with his performance, his salary has also risen vertically every year. In his first year of joining, he received a down payment of 450 million won and a minimum annual salary of 30 million won, but jumped to 120 million won in 2019, the second year, setting a record for the highest annual salary in the second year of high school graduation. It was an amount that renewed the annual salary of Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom) in the second year (110 million won).

This was broken in a year by Ha Jae-hoon (SSG, 150 million won) in 2020, but Kang Baek-ho has a higher symbolism, considering that Ha Jae-hoon is an overseas U-turner.

After that, in 2020, the third year, I received 210 million won, and in the fourth year, 2021, I took 310 million won. Although it did not reach Lee Jung-hoo’s record for each year (230 million won in the third year and 390 million won in the fourth year), the annual salary increase continued, with the ‘front seat’ changing. 바카라

In 2022, it was 550 million won, the highest annual salary for Lee Jung-hoo in the fifth year and a tie. He was highly praised for being the main player in the team’s victory in the previous season and for displaying the best offensive power in the league. It was a truly unstoppable upward curve, but this year, the possibility of braking has increased.

Kang Baek-ho suffered a toe fracture injury before the start of this season and was only able to play his first game in June. After playing for a month, he missed another month due to a hamstring injury while running.

Kang Baek-ho, who hardly found a sense of hitting even after his return, had a batting average of 0.245 with 6 homers and 29 RBIs. He played less than half of the season with 62 appearances and was not in perfect condition. It was a performance that contradicted Kang Baek-ho’s appearance over the past four years.

Despite Kang Baek-ho’s injury, KT advanced to the postseason by overcoming the void well, with veteran Park Byeong-ho, who was recruited as a free agent, becoming the home run king. However, if you approach it from a different angle, it is time to show greater synergy if Kang Baek-ho was active. It is a great pity that the team, which was the ‘defending champion’, was eliminated from the semi-playoffs in the postseason and placed 4th in the regular season.

Given this situation, Kang Baek-ho’s salary prospects for the 2023 season do not seem bright. While Lee Jung-hoo, who was once considered a ‘rival’, surpassed 1 billion won (1.1 billion won) in annual salary with MVP, Kang Baek-ho has no particular impressive factor.

Considering the fact that Kang Baek-ho is the main hitter in the team, that the team performed well in the postseason even though the team’s performance fell, and that Kang Baek-ho returned at the end of the season to help, it is not easy to cut. It’s a decision.

It seems that both KT and Kang Baek-ho can be satisfied with last year’s annual salary freeze or a slight increase. According to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), the fact that there were no players who disagreed with the club in this year’s salary negotiations also adds to this observation.

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