Even the three musketeers of Samsung’s past do not appear to be able to avoid the swamp of time. One has retired early, and two are in fact burning the last flame.
There were three players who appeared in Samsung’s main batting line from 2008. They are Choi Hyeong-woo, Park Seok-min, and Chae Tae-in. Choi Hyeong-woo was released once and then re-enlisted, and Park Seok-min had completed his military service. Chae Tae-in was added as a special nomination from overseas.
In the early 2000s, Lee Seung-yeop, Ma Hae-young, and Shim Jeong-soo, who were in charge of Samsung’s central batting line, suffered from advancing to Japan, free agency transfers, and aging. Yang Joon-hyeok, in his late 30s and early 40s, was flying, but he needed to prepare for the future power. Former coach Seon Dong-yeol began intensively 스포츠토토 hiring Choi Hyung-woo, Park Seok-min, and Chae Tae-in in the name of rebuilding in 2008.
In the end, Choi Hyeong-woo and Park Seok-min became successful baseball players to the top of the FA conglomerate. Chae Tae-in finished his prime earlier than the two and was the first to take off his uniform. (Retired after the 2020 season) However, it is clear that he has grown into a key player who led the Samsung dynasty in the early 2010s and decorated a page in Samsung’s history.
The three of them have already entered the twilight of their careers. First of all, Chae Tae-in left for Nexen through a trade ahead of the 2016 season. Chae Tae-in went to SK through Nexen and Lotte, his hometown team, but he retired without showing the impact of his Samsung days.
There was one shot, but rather, as the career batting average of 0.298 showed, he hit with accuracy. It was a case where he turned to hitter and hit his potential almost immediately. He was tall and had good first base defense with long legs. The nickname ‘Cheonjae Chae’ was not given for nothing.
Choi Hyeong-woo went to KIA for 4 years and 10 billion won in the 2016-2017 FA market. He was the protagonist who opened the door to a 10 billion won free agent contract. As soon as Choi Hyeong-woo went to KIA, he led the overall championship. However, his last two years have not shown any of his usual prowess. In the 2021 season, the average fell due to eye disease. There were no health problems in the 2022 season, but the overall productivity was not completely restored as the athletic ability was lower than in previous years. 26 home runs and 126 RBIs in 236 games over the past two years. It is a shame that he easily managed to do in one season in his prime.
This year, Hyung-Woo Choi is in the final season of a 3-year, 4.7 billion won contract as a free agent. He didn’t completely make up for the sluggishness of 2021 last year. If he perfectly revives in his 40-year-old season, it will extend his playing career and lay the foundation for one more free agent contract. The designated hitter is expected to be given priority this season as well. KIA still needs Choi Hyeong-woo’s heavy blow. However, in the opposite case, it is expected that they will in fact be driven to retirement crisis.
Park Seok-min is also in a similar situation to Choi Hyung-woo. As the instigator of the corona sulfan wave that shook Korean baseball in 2021, he was greatly criticized by baseball fans. In his last two years, he has produced 10 home runs and 43 RBIs in just 75 games. Averages also plummeted. In the 2022 season, it was 0.149. It was true that he had a small injury and was shaken by the challenge of his juniors.
But this year, an environment was created for Park Seok-min to revive. This is because third basemen such as Noh Jin-hyeok (Lotte) and Park Joon-young (Doosan) transferred as free agents and compensation players. There is a possibility that Park Seok-min will play many games as a third baseman after a long time. Of course, the premise of recovering one’s skills must be laid. The 2+1 year 3.4 billion won FA contract has also ended. This season, he will sign a general annual salary contract and try to make a comeback.
Coincidentally, Choi Hyung-woo and Park Seok-min have one thing in common: they have been frustrated over the past two years. At the age of 40 or 38, it is impossible to recover the athletic ability and skills of the Samsung days. Still, it is true that the people and fans of both teams have expectations that they will show something. It is because he has such a brilliant career and winning record. The dominant gaze is that it is regrettable that the last flame goes out like this.