‘Genius hitter’ Kang Baek-ho (KT)’s annual salary was drastically cut. We need to recreate the footing to rebound.
On the 29th, KT Wiz announced that it had signed an annual salary contract for the 2023 season with 61 people subject to renewal. The biggest concern was Kang Baek-ho’s annual salary. KT was scheduled to leave for the spring camp held in Arizona, USA on the 29th. Kang Baek-ho made a dramatic contract the day before the start of spring camp. Kang Baek-ho, who signed his contract late, is scheduled to leave the country separately on the 31st.
Kang Baek-ho, who joined KT with No. 1 overall in the first round of the 2nd draft in 2018, has performed well since his debut season. He went 153 hits in 527 at-bats with 29 home runs and 84 RBIs with a batting average of .290 and .879 OPS, winning Rookie of the Year honors. Kang Baek-ho signed a contract with an annual salary of 120 million won in the second year and immediately became a player with an annual salary of 100 million won.
Since then, Kang Baek-ho’s annual salary has steadily increased. He received an annual salary of 210 million won in the third year and 310 million won in the fourth year. And in the 2021 season, he had a career high season with 179 hits in 516 at-bats, 16 home runs, 102 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases with a batting average of 0.347 OPS of 0.971. In addition, in the Korean Series, he played a big role with 4 hits in 7 at-bats, 1 RBI, 0.571 OPS and 1.238, contributing greatly to the team’s first championship. Kang Baek-ho, whose value was recognized, signed an annual salary of 550 million won ahead of the 2022 season.
However, Kang Baek-ho had a hard time in the 2022 season. He suffered a fractured right little toe before the season opener. Kang Baek-ho returned to action in June after completing his rehabilitation. Kang Baek-ho, who made his comeback, recorded 20 hits in 80 at-bats, 3 homers, 10 RBIs, a batting average of 0.250 and an OPS of 0.767 in June. However, the bad news of the injury came again. On July 1, he suffered a hamstring injury while baserunning against the Suwon Doosan Bears. In the end, he was sidelined for over a month and a half. 메이저놀이터
After returning from injury, Kang Baek-ho couldn’t find his skills. Ultimately, he finished the season with 58 hits in 237 at-bats, 6 homers, and 29 RBI with a batting average of 0.245 and an OPS of 0.683. It marked his worst performance since his debut. His poor performance eventually led to his salary being cut. Kang Baek-ho signed for 290 million won, a 47.3% cut from last year’s annual salary.
Although this is his first annual salary cut, there is no reason for Kang Baek-ho to be frustrated. Kang Baek-ho, born in 1999, is still a young player. He can rebound if he gets on the momentum at any time. He needs to get away from the bad news of his injury last season and aim for his comeback this season. Kang Baek-ho leaves the country two days later than the spring camp base, but he can participate in his first training session. Will he be able to establish a foothold for revival once again in this spring camp?