Lotte’s ‘surprise pick’, why did they bring in a batsman for ML 1? Surprising twist behind the scenes, expect ‘energizer bunny’ to lead top 5 fight

The Lotte Giants, who are hoping to return to fall baseball for the first time in six years, have made a big announcement: they’re switching to a foreign bat. What kind of player is the new foreign hitter?

On November 11, Lotte announced, “We have signed Nico Goodrum (31), who can play both infield and outfield defense, as our new foreign hitter.” Goodrum signed with Lotte for an annual salary of $400,000 (KRW 517 million). He is scheduled to arrive in South Korea on April 15 and will be added to the first team roster on April 21 if the administrative procedures are finalized.

Existing Lotte foreign hitter Jack Rex, 30, joined the team last year and showed promise with a .330 batting average and eight home runs in 56 games. This season, he started off strong, but a knee injury forced him to rehabilitate. Lotte manager Larry Sutton, 53, said, “Six to 10 weeks (of rehabilitation) is not a short period of time, because as a foreign hitter, you have a role to play on a team.”

“We’ve been watching him for almost a year,” Sutton said, introducing Goodrum. What kind of player is Goodrum, who should lead the Lotte batting lineup in the second half, and why did Lotte choose him?
Who is Goodrum, shortstop GG finalist – transformed into a ‘run-scoring machine’ with glasses

Standing at 6-foot-2, 192 pounds, Utuyangtin Gudrum was selected by Minnesota in the second round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut in 2017 and has played in 402 career big league games between Detroit and Houston, batting .226 with 42 home runs, 152 RBI, 46 doubles and a .688 OPS. He hit a career-high 16 home runs and stole 12 bases in 2018.

What stands out most is his utility ability. In his six seasons in the big leagues, Goodrum has started at least 10 games at every defensive position except pitcher and catcher. His most frequent appearance was at shortstop, where he totaled 147 games (137 starts) and 1200⅔ innings. In 2020, while with Detroit, he was named one of three finalists for the American League Gold Glove.

In his most recent stint with Boston’s Triple-A team, he split time between first base (30 games), second base (22 games), and third base (12 games). He’s been billed as an infield utility, but he’s more of an infield multi-position player. Sutton said he “needs to evaluate,” but “I think he’s better suited for the infield than the outfield.”

He has an average bat. He’s a mid-to-long range hitter who has hit 10+ home runs twice in the big leagues, but has had contact issues. In his most recent major league stint last year, he struggled a bit, batting .116 with a .156 on-base percentage in 45 at-bats.

It’s worth noting, though, that Goodrum has improved by leaps and bounds this year. In Triple-A, Goodrum is batting just .280, but his on-base percentage is a whopping .448. In 286 at-bats, he’s drawn more walks (66) than hits (61). Goodrum underwent LASIK surgery a few years ago, which left him with blurry vision, but he recently got glasses, according to ESPN’s Maslive. Coincidentally, since getting glasses, he’s been drawing walks at a career-high level.

In that sense, we can be cautiously optimistic about his success in the KBO. Recently, there has been a trend of foreign hitters who are not traditional “big hitters” but “eye hitters,” such as Jose Pirela (Samsung) and Guillermo Heredia (SSG), succeeding in the KBO.
Lotte’s plan to utilize Goodrum “First as a first baseman in the absence of Ko Seung-min, but also as a backup shortstop”

While Rex is an outfielder, Goodrum is primarily an infielder. Lotte is also expected to use Goodrum primarily as an infield utility. In particular, he will be the first to fill the void left by first baseman Ko Seung-min (23), who recently injured his finger while running a base and will need to undergo a month-long rehabilitation process.카지노사이트

“Goodrum is a very athletic and versatile player who can play all over the infield,” Sutton said. “He can play first base if Seung-min Ko is out, and he can play shortstop if we need to rest Jin-hyeok Noh (34) against lefties as the season goes on,” Sutton said. “You can see the corner infield or the corner outfield,” he emphasized.

For now, it’s all about the player’s current status. “First of all, we need time to see how he moves when he gets here (to Korea),” Sutton said, “and we’ll see how he does in training during the All-Star break.”

Lotte expects Goodrum to be productive at the plate as well. “He’s not going to be a three- to 40-homer guy, but he can hit enough home runs,” Sutton said. He’s going to hit for at least average, and he’s got great contact,” Sutton said. “He has a good ability to control his own strike zone and draws more walks than strikeouts,” he added.
‘Battle for the top five’ Lotte’s early rainfall changes the game in the second half of the season
Lotte’s decision to substitute a foreign player has made for an interesting second half of the season. The battle for the middle of the pack in the KBO has been fierce this year, with the third-place Doosan Bears and ninth-place Hanwha Eagles separated by six games after 11 games.

The Bears have also been active in reorganizing their roster as the battle for the top spot has become more visible. Doosan is on an eight-game winning streak after releasing Dylan Pyle and bringing back left-hander Brandon Waddell from last year. The KIA Tigers replaced both of their foreign pitchers and acquired catcher Kim Tae-gun via trade. Hanwha, Kiwoom Heroes and KT Wiz also made quick changes to their foreign players.

Add Lotte to the mix, and the stage is set for a late-season top-five battle. Can Goodrum help Lotte reach fall baseball for the first time in six years since 2017?

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