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‘Welcome, Korean scam, right?” KT’s legendary MVP returns home on Aug. 28

The legendary MVP returns as the ‘man of value’.

KT Wiz foreign slugger Mel Rojas Jr. will set foot on Korean soil on Aug. 28.

KT announced on Wednesday that Rojas will arrive at Incheon International Airport on the 28th. Usually, foreign players go directly to their overseas training camps. However, KT chose to take the “risk” of holding their first spring training camp in Gijang, Busan, instead of overseas this year, so Rojas will arrive in Korea early.

KT will travel to Gijang on the 29th. After rest and self-discipline, they will begin training in earnest on the 1st. Rojas will be reunited with his teammates after unpacking in Suwon.

KT has selected Rojas as its new foreign bat for the 2024 season. He signed a contract for a total of $900,000. In a market full of $1 million-plus players, Rojas became a “value” foreigner. He even got a whopping $300,000 in incentives. This could be a powerful motivator for Rojas after his time away from baseball.

Rojas is a part of KT’s history. Rojas joined KT in the 2017 season and was the KBO’s longest-serving outfielder for four years. In those four seasons, he played in 511 games, batting .326 with 132 home runs and 409 RBIs.

In 2020, he played in 142 games, batted .340 with 47 home runs, 135 RBIs, 192 hits, 116 runs scored, a slugging percentage of 4.1, and an on-base percentage of 6.8, and won four batting titles (home runs, runs scored, and slugging percentage). It was the first MVP honor for KT since its inception, and the first time a switch-hitter has won the MVP award since the KBO began.

He joined the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball for a large sum of money, but it was a disastrous two-year stint. He then played in the Dominican Winter League and the Mexican League. He is now in his mid-30s. So why did Lee and KT choose Rojas again?

“Rojas was my first choice because I thought the other candidates were either ambiguous or unsure. The coaching staff and the front office agreed. I saw him recently and he had lost weight compared to when he left Korea, and he still had the power to hit the ball. Of course, we thought he would adapt to our team and the KBO quickly, so we decided to go with the one with the least chance of failure.”



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