‘Winning contractors’ foreign first baseman to be stolen by Japan

LG Twins foreign-base hitter Austin Dean was the key to LG’s championship last year. He broke the foreign batting streak and helped LG win their first Korean Series title in 29 years.

However, LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop is a bit worried about Austin’s performance this season. Not that he won’t, but that he’ll be too good.

In 139 games last year, Austin batted .517 (163-for-520) with 23 home runs, 95 RBIs, 87 runs scored, seven doubles, 53 walks, 75 strikeouts, a .376 on-base percentage, and an .893 OPS as LG’s No. 4 hitter.

Austin was the only player in the KBO to post a triple, 20 home runs, and 90 RBIs.

He followed up his regular season performance with a strong showing in the Korean Series, batting 3-for-5 (7-for-20) with one home run, five RBIs and a .931 OPS in five games. 토토사이트 In Game 3, he hit a leadoff three-run homer off KT starter Benjamin, the “LG Killer,” to start the game.

After the Korean Series, Austin agreed to re-sign for the 2024 season for a total of $1.3 million ($300,000 signing bonus, $800,000 salary, $200,000 incentive). The guaranteed money more than doubled from last year’s total of $700,000 ($100,000 signing bonus, $400,000 salary, $200,000 incentive).

Yeom departed for spring training in Arizona, USA, via Incheon Airport on the 26th.

He was worried about Austin’s trip to Japan, referring to Lotte infielder Kim Min-soo, who was acquired by LG in a ‘sign-and-trade’ for free agent Kim Min-sung.

Yeom said he was preparing Kim for all infield positions, but also expected him to be a backup first baseman. “We don’t know what will happen to Austin. If he does well again this year, he might go to Japan, so we have to be prepared for that,” Yeom said.

“If Austin does well this year, he might go to Japan (next year). If he doesn’t make it one year, but he does well two years in a row, Japan could take him. We have to develop Min-soo well as a first baseman when we look at various alternatives.”

Austin was the second foreign hitter to be drafted by LG. He was the No. 2 overall pick and batted fourth on the team that won the Korean Series.

In December 2022, LG announced that it had agreed to a contract with foreign hitter Abraham Almonte for a total of $800,000. However, Almonte did not pass the medical test in the United States. He had a knee problem. LG decided to rescind the contract agreement with Almonte over the medical test results. LG then signed Austin.

Austin’s primary position was outfield, and right field was his most familiar position.

Austin, who had played first base in the amateur ranks, was moved to first base when Lee Jae-won, a candidate for first base, was injured in an exhibition game. He thrived as a full-time first baseman.

After winning the Korean Series, Austin won the Golden Glove for first base, becoming the first LG player to win the Golden Glove for first base in a long time. Austin beat out Park Byung-ho (KT) and Yang Seok-hwan (Doosan) for the honor. Austin received 271 of the 291 eligible votes (93.1%) in a landslide victory.

Austin is the third first baseman in LG’s history to win the Golden Glove, joining Kim Sang-hoon in 1990 and Seo Yong-bin in 1994. It had been 29 years since the team had a first baseman win the Golden Glove after winning the 1994 Korean Series.

Austin said in the U.S., “I’m so sorry that I couldn’t attend such a great ceremony. It’s a great honor to receive this award, and the win made it even more special. I’m so proud to represent LG and can’t wait to see what the 2024 season has in store for us.”

There are many examples of foreign players who have excelled in the KBO going on to play in Japan. When Japanese teams compete for foreign players who are playing in the KBO, 토토사이트 순위 KBO clubs are hard to beat in terms of salary. Most recently, Rojas Jr. went to Japan for a big payday before returning to KT this year. If Austin continues to hit .325 with 20 homers and 90 RBIs this year, will Nippon Professional Baseball be interested?

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