The Lotte Giants of the KBO have cleaned house

The Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization have cleaned house. Catcher Ji-wan Ji-wan, who was the start of an ambitious process under former manager Sung Min-kyu, did not escape the blade of release.

On Tuesday, Lotte announced that it had notified pitcher Choi Seol-woo, catcher Ji-wan Ji-wan, and infielder Kim Seo-jin of their release. “The club conveyed its intention to release the three players through interviews,” the club said.

Ji Ji-wan’s release stands out. After graduating from Cheongju University and joining the Hanwha Eagles as a developmental player in 2014, Ji-wan distinguished himself as an offensive catcher. In 2018, he played 99 games for Hanwha, batting .207 (57-for-207) with seven home runs, 29 RBIs, and a .731 OPS. As the designated hitter for foreign pitchers, he helped Hanwha to its most recent postseason berth.Then, in the winter of 2019, 토토사이트 he donned a Lotte uniform in a two-for-two trade. He was the catcher that new Lotte manager Sung Min-kyu had targeted and brought in as the starting catcher. At the time, there were veteran catchers like Lee Ji-young (now SSG) and Kim Tae-gun (now KIA) in the free agent market, but the team tried to fill the gap with Ji-wan instead.


Ji-wan unwittingly found himself at the center of on-field and off-field conflicts, and in his first year, he was suspended for 72 games for his involvement in an underage-related personal matter. He was given only three games in the first team, but was given a chance again in mid-2021 when former manager Heo Mun-ho was sacked after a conflict with Sung Min-kyu. He seemed to fulfill his potential again in 2021, batting 2-for-41 (40-for-166) with seven home runs, 26 RBIs and a .741 OPS in 73 games. In 2022, he played 75 games, but his production dropped off, batting just .211 (37-for-174) with three home runs, 17 RBI and a .604 OPS. He played in just six games in 2023, when the team solved its catching woes by signing free agent catcher Yoo Kang-nam, and none this year.

Even in the Futures League this season, he only appeared in two games, the last being on April 6 against Samsung Electronics. The club ultimately chose to release him.

The team also released infielder Kim Seo-jin, who was drafted in the ninth round of the second round of the 2022 rookie draft. Kim was a non-athlete, home-schooled and GED student who made headlines by passing the draft. She entered active duty for military service in August 2023, but was notified of her release during her military service.

Also facing the same fate was Choi Seol-woo (renamed Choi Young-hwan), 사설 토토사이트 who was drafted in the second round by Hanwha in 2014 and wore a Lotte uniform after being placed on the disabled list the following year. Choi finished his career with a 2-7 record, one save, two holds and a 7.07 ERA in 101 games.