Following the success of last year’s signing of Park Byung-ho, another free agent signing has been successful. It’s shortstop Kim Sang-soo.
KT signed Kim Sang-soo to a four-year, $2.9 billion free agent contract after the end of last season. They released compensatory player Kim Tae-hoon in Class B.
KT was in need of a new shortstop due to the military enlistment of star shortstop Shim Woo-jun, and after concluding that there was no one available internally, they turned to the free agent market. At the time, there were only two shortstops on the free agent market, Noh Jin-hyuk and Kim Sang-soo Oh Sun-jin. Noh Jinhyeok had interest from several clubs, eventually landing with the Lotte Giants for 4 years and 5 billion won.
KT chose Kim Sang-soo. Kim Sang-soo has been playing second base a lot lately, but he was the starting shortstop during Samsung’s dynasty, and when he played shortstop last year, he still showed his defensive prowess. Kim Sang-soo also had a love for shortstop, and KT and Kim grew closer, eventually reaching an agreement.
The 33-year-old shortstop remained the same. The 33-year-old shortstop was still the same.
Offensively, he’s had a positive alpha effect. Kim is batting .290 (42-for-145) with 17 RBIs and 18 runs scored this season. His batting average to date is second only to his career-high of 3-for-4 in 2020. If he continues to hit like this, he is mathematically on pace for 137 hits. Kim’s previous high for a season was 127 in 2019.
One of the things KT was hoping for on the offensive side of the ball when they signed Kim was an increase in slugging percentage. Compared to Shim Woo-jun, who had a good defense but a weak offense, Kim Sang-soo would be able to do better on offense. Until last year, Kim Sang-soo’s career OPS was 3-for-4. The expectation was that he could get on base in the bottom of the order and open up opportunities for the top of the order, and it’s paying off.
Kim Sang-soo has a 3.6 OPS this season. He started the 스포츠토토 season batting ninth, but has since moved to second and has been a table-setter.
On the 27th against the Daegu Samsung Lions, he went 3-for-5 with a home run and an RBI to help the team beat Chinjeong 5-3.
KT acquired the aging Park Byung-ho last year for a total of 3 billion won ($3 million) over three years, and he led the team to the postseason with 35 home runs and 98 RBIs as the centerpiece of a young team.