Kim Won-joong (30), a ‘long-haired closer’ who has now risen to the ranks of a senior, serves as a reliable link between the veteran and rookie pitching staff.
Kim Won-joong, who was nominated 5th 메이저놀이터overall in the 1st round of the 2012 rookie draft, is busy every day. As the team’s pitching staff has recently become younger, Kim Won-joong has effectively taken on the role of pitching manager. Influencing his juniors with his charisma, he acts as a bridge between the middle points of the pitching staff while treating the seniors with respect.
Veteran players who were released last year, such as Cha Woo-chan, Shin Jeong-rak (36 years old), Kim Sang-su (35 years old), and Yoon Myung-jun (34 years old), joined Lotte this year and are in the middle of the team. However, among the pitching staff who joined the camp this year, as a Lotte player, he had the longest tenure. Before he knew it, he was only a Lotte player for 11 years. In the end, Kim Won-joong is playing a role in taking care of veteran pitchers, who are the first Lotte players, as well as new players who are not yet familiar with the culture at this camp.
Since joining the camp on the 20th of last month, Wonjoong Kim has been training with Jeongrak Shin, Myeongjun Yoon, and Woochan Cha, who were transfer students who boarded the plane together, paying attention to the seniors’ adaptability to the team. He seems to be acting as the de facto leader.
He played catch with Shin Jeong-rak, and Yoon Myeong-jun, who is also Kim Won-joong’s high school senior, said, “Won-joong is doing a good job by telling me a lot and taking care of the seniors well.” Cha Woo-chan also mentioned, “After the announcement of signing a contract with Lotte, Wonjoong was the first to contact me and said to take care of him.”
Currently, Wonjoong Kim is busy with Chinese poetry. He is a player who can’t be blamed for off-season body care. But he has to pull himself up even faster. Kim Won-jung, who has been selected for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team, is picking up the pace a little faster to wear the Taegeuk mark with his best form.
After staying at Lotte’s Guam spring camp until the 12th, Kim Won-jung will leave for Arizona, the United States, where the WBC team’s off-season training will be held. However, he plans to fulfill his role as a trustworthy senior who takes care of the Lotte pitching staff until the end.