Lotte Giants pitcher Na Won-tak has retired from baseball after reaching the end of his career.
Lotte voluntarily terminated his contract on the 30th. “He wanted to try something else,” a Lotte representative said, explaining the termination. Na was a highly touted prospect who was drafted by the Samsung Lions with the 19th overall pick in the second round of the 2017 KBO Draft.
He was a catcher at the time of his selection, but was traded to Lotte in November 2017 as compensation for Kang Min-ho’s free agency. After completing his active military service in 2018, Na Won-taek switched to the outfield in 2021 and tried his hand at pitching during the season. He was expected to follow in the footsteps of Na Kyun-ahn, who had become a good example of a ‘pitching transition’ in the team.
Na appeared in 10 games as a pitcher,스포츠토토 giving up 13 runs (12 earned) on 13 hits (2 home runs) in 8⅔ innings with 12 strikeouts and 11 walks. This year, he has one start, allowing three runs in ⅔ of an inning. As a hitter, in 33 career games, he is 8-for-48 with a .188 OPS and a .355 batting average with one home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Lotte manager Larry Sutton recently commented on Nawontak. On March 19, Sutton said, “He’s showing improvement every time he pitches. Even in yesterday’s game, it was clear that his splitter was better than in his previous first-team appearance.” “I think Na Won-taek is going through a similar process to Na Kyun-ahn. I think he is also in the process of building his own strengths and weapons.” However, he did not take up the challenge.
On social media, Na Won-tak wrote, “I have been changing positions to become the player the team needs as an outfielder, first baseman, and pitcher, but I have felt the pain of not getting results and the regret of being a catcher in the back of my mind. I chose to retire from the game before I felt more disappointment. I will not forget the fans who supported me during my career.”