‘Where is Goo?’ Will Gudrum be Lotte’s savior? Versatile hitting ability, perfect defense
In his KBO debut, Lotte Giants’ newest foreign hitter, Niko Goodrum, recorded a hit in his first at-bat. In the fifth inning, he made a spectacular catch to erase the tying run.
The first game of a three-game weekend series between the KBO’s Lotte and Kiwoom was held at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 21st. Gudrum, a foreign hitter who joined Lotte in the second half of the season, contributed to the team’s victory with a strong performance in the offense.
LOTTE’s Goodrum made his KBO debut in front of the home fans at Sajik Stadium with an impressive performance.키톤벳
In the first inning, amid cheers from the fans who welcomed the newcomer, Goodrum made his first KBO at-bat and lined a clean single up the middle against Kiwoom ace Ahn Woo-jin.
A switch-hitter who can bat both ways against Kiwoom’s Ahn Woo-jin, Goodrum batted to left field. Swinging hard at the first pitch of his at-bat, Gudrum hit a 153-kilometer fastball from Ahn Woo-jin on a one-strike, one-pitch at-bat and lined it cleanly to the left side of the infield.
In his first at-bat in the KBO, Goodrum registered a pleasant surprise against the league’s top pitcher, Ahn Woo-jin.
After reaching first base, Goodrum was all smiles as he performed a little ceremony.
Goodrum was also steady on defense. In the top of the fifth inning, LOTTE starter Barnes faltered and gave up a double. Kiwoom’s No. 4 hitter Lee Won-seok hit a hard line drive that looked like it would slip between the shortstop and third baseman with two outs.
If the ball had dropped, the tying run would have scored with two outs. LOTTE third baseman Gudrum used his height to make a powerful sliding catch. With the ball in hand, Gudrum quickly threw to first base in a continuous motion, catching the batter, Lee Won-seok.
Kiwoom requested a video review and argued for Lee’s save, but the call was not overturned.
Goodrum saved his team from the brink with a fantastic defense to help Barnes in the extra innings. After Barnes went down, Lotte’s bullpen held firm on the mound to win the first game of the second half and get back to within five games.
With two outs in the fifth inning, LOTTE third baseman Gudrum throws Lee Won-seok’s hit to first base for the out.
Gudrum makes a great catch with the bases loaded in the fifth inning to help Barnes win the game.
Lotte acquired Nico Goodrum on July 11 due to an injury to Zack Rex. Lotte signed Goodrum to a $400,000 contract for the remainder of the season.
The 192cm, 99kg right-handed, switch-hitting outfielder is not a big hitter, but he is a situational hitter. Defensively, he is a utility player who can play both the outfield corners.
He started his career at third base, but can also play first base and both corners of the outfield. Goodrum was a former second-round pick of Minnesota in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. In 402 career major league games. He has 305 hits and 42 home runs.
Lotte hasn’t played in fall baseball since 2017. Lotte released Straily and Rex during the All-Star break and acquired foreign pitcher Aaron Wilkerson and slugger Nico Goodrum.
With two foreign players in the second half of the season, can Lotte get a taste of fall baseball again after six years?
They’ll definitely need their new acquisition, “Goo-chee” Goodrum, to step up.