When I first heard about the trade, I couldn’t help but question it.
The news of a one-for-one trade between the LG Twins and NC Dinos came out during the All-Star break. LG traded pitcher Chae Ji-sun for outfielder Choi Seung-min, neither of whom had played in the first team this season. It doesn’t seem like a trade that will have an immediate impact on the team. Especially since LG has an abundance of outfielders including Kim Hyun-soo, Park Hae-min, Hong Chang-gi, and Moon Sung-joo, and prospect Lee Jae-won isn’t doing well, it’s puzzling that they would trade a pitcher for an outfielder. It was even a trade that LG wanted to make.
Choi Seung-min is a fast outfielder. He can steal bases. With Shin Min-jae, who was a pinch-hitter, becoming the starting second baseman, there was no suitable pinch-hitter, so the pitcher was traded for him.
It was a power boost for the championship. The need for speedy runners in late-game situations is even greater in big games. There’s a big difference between a bases-loaded walk, a stolen base, and a sacrifice bunt to third base to put runners on first and third, and a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and second. A stolen base can be the difference between winning and losing a game. That’s why they’re called “game changers.
That’s why they’re called “game changers.” Yoon had given Shin Min-jae that role in preparation for this season. However, when Shin Min-jae became the starting second baseman, LG lost a reliable pinch-hitter. When the team needed a pinch-hitter late in the game, Yeom used players who weren’t as quick, such as Jeong Ju-hyun and Son Ho-young, but they couldn’t steal bases.
The signing of Choi Seung-min is no small feat, and if he can steal one game in the Korean Series, and that steal helps LG win the title, the trade will be a huge success.
Choi, who joined the NC as a developmental player in 2015, has stolen 16 bases in his career, including 6 (2 failed) in 2019, 4 (3 failed) in 2021, and 6 (3 failed) last year. That’s a 66.7% success rate.
In the Futures League, he has 127 career stolen bases. He’s attempted 57 for a 69.0% success rate. This season, he’s attempted 11 and succeeded seven times.
It’s likely that Choi will start out in the second team and work his way up to the first team after adjusting to life as an LG player.
It’s a big opportunity for Choi, and not just a small trade, but a piece of a championship puzzle.
The new ‘game changer’ will be in the second half. Will he be the difference maker? 먹튀검증