Former Angels, Astros and Rays catcher Hank Conger will serve as the new catching coach for the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization, per Jee-ho Yoo of South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. It doesn’t appear that Conger has formally announced his retirement as a player, but the move to a coaching capacity puts an end to his playing days for the time being.
Conger, 32 next month, was born in Washington and went to high school in California but is of Korean descent. He played in parts of seven seasons between the Angels, Astros and Rays organizations, recording a .221/.294/.366 batting line over the life of 373 MLB games (1134 plate appearances). Conger also saw action in parts of five Triple-A campaigns but hasn’t appeared in affiliated ball since the 2017 season, which he spent with the D-backs’ Triple-A affiliate.
Conger was perhaps MLB’s premier pitch framer in 2013-14, and Yoo notes that his new team acquired 25-year-old backstop Seong-jun Ji via an offseason trade. The hope seems to be that Conger can aid in his development behind the plate as he steps into a starter’s role for the first time in his career.