“I want to be a better player and a more mature person than I am now.”
Kim Sang-soo (36) is a pillar of the Lotte Giants’ bullpen. Just one year has passed since he played in the Lotte Giants, but many juniors trust him and follow him. In the first spring camp after moving to the team, players in their early 20s glared at each other, saying, “I will learn by following you.” As he stood at the top of bullpen history with 40 holds in a single season in 2019, when he was a member of the Kiwoom Heroes, younger players were naturally curious about his know-how, but there was no way that younger players would have difficulty waiting for him without giving hasty advice or interfering.
Kim Sang-soo played his part silently on the mound. Due to the departure of promising players, the gap in skills between the winning and non-winning groups widened, and due to frequent close games, certain pitchers were burdened with this burden. Of the 54 games he played in relief last year, 25 were inferior to half of the games. Nevertheless, he pitched in 67 games, the most in his team, with 4 wins and 2 losses, 1 save and 18 holds, and an ERA of 3.12.
The team also highly appreciated Kim’s capabilities. Kim recently signed a multi-year contract with Lotte 마카오카지노주소. He will receive up to 600 million won (400 million U.S. dollars in annual salary, 200 million won in incentives) for two years. “Many people judge a player based on his age. However, we prioritized Kim Sang-soo’s physical care and performance, and decided that he would be able to display his full capacity for two years,” Lotte General Manager Park Jun-hyuk said. “We don’t give contracts to players whose performances are not met. We talked about receiving incentives only when we produce performances, and we also included them in contracts.” “Kim Sang-soo was in charge of transferring know-how to young pitchers and sometimes touching their hearts like a mother,” Lotte General Manager Park Jun-hyuk said. “As he showed last season, he is a player who is committed to the team.”
He bounced back from being released last year to being recognized as a top-class bullpen. “As if you go up, don’t you think you have to go up again if you go down?” Kim Sang-soo said. “Looking back, I think I overcame difficult times well, but even if it was a unique season, now it’s past, so I’ve already forgotten.” “I prepared by focusing on the new season with a relaxed mind (after signing the contract). I wanted to become a better player and a more mature person than now, so I worked out constantly and studied a lot through reading,” he said. “I’ve been preparing well for the new season in terms of my skills, and I’ll prepare well until the opening day to show you a stronger performance.”