After 3 seasons of transitioning from catcher to pitcher, he reached an annual salary of 100 million won and went to an overseas camp. This is why the 2023 season of Na Kyun-an (25, Lotte Giants) is expected.
On the 30th, Lotte announced that it had completed an annual salary contract with 60 people subject to annual salary contracts for the 2023 season. Among them, Kyun-an Na received 109 million won, up 87.9 percent from last year’s 58 million won. 메이저놀이터
With this, Kyun-an Na has exceeded the annual salary of 100 million won for the first time since his professional debut in 2017. He received 28 million won, close to the minimum annual salary, by 2019, the third year, and rose to 43 million won the following year. His annual salary was raised last year after becoming a pitcher, and he is now a proud billionaire.
Looking at his performance last year, Kyun-an Na can fully receive this kind of treatment. In the 2022 season, he started in 39 games (13 starts), going back and forth between selection and salvation, and recorded an average ERA of 3.98 with 3 wins, 8 losses and 2 holds. In particular, he showed the side of ‘Doctor K’ by striking out 123 in 117⅔ innings.
There were also difficulties while digesting full-time for the first time. Na Kyun-an, who had struggled with an ERA of 2.21 until May, rose to 9.77 in 8 games in June. It was because he took the mound whenever the starting lineup collapsed and the number of innings increased. However, in the second half, he regained his composure with an ERA of 3.20 with 2 wins and 4 losses.
In an interview with Star News, Kyun-Ahn Na looked back on the season, saying, “Any player has physical ups and downs throughout the season,” and “He thinks he has to overcome.”
Although he was in his third year as a pitcher, he also took on the role of leading young players. Seo Jun-won (23) said, “I’ve never told my parents or anyone else about everything, but I think I could talk to Gyun-an hyung.”
Amidst these achievements, Na Kyun-an was listed on the list of participants for the 2023 spring camp held in Guam, USA. In particular, it was the first overseas training session for a pitcher. Ahead of his departure, he confessed, “I’m half worried and half excited since I’ve been out for the first time in a long time.” He said, “There is no big difference by doing it overseas.” He said, “The mindset of going out as a pitcher is different from that of a catcher.”
Although he had good results last season, Kyun-an Na was not satisfied. He expressed his wish, “I want to upgrade to the next level rather than maintaining my grades, and I hope to finish the season with better grades than last year.”
To this end, Na Gyun-an sweated from the finish camp. He said, “(Finishing) camp was so good that I just kept working out all winter to maintain my body.” Meeting again with newly joined pitching coach Bae Young-soo (42) in Guam, he said, “I will talk a lot until the coach goes to prepare for the World Baseball Classic (WBC).”
What is Na Kyun-an’s goal for next season? He expressed his wish, “I want to play full-time in the first team this year like last year, and if I get many opportunities, I want to play as a starting pitcher.”
Na Kyun-ahn did not fully blossom as a catcher. He played for three years from 2017, but had a batting average of only 0.123.