Catcher to First Base – Outfielder Position Change
- Went 1-for-4 with a walk against Kiwoom on Sept. 9
- Hit .529 in August after being called up to the first team in July
- Solidifying a starting role in place of the struggling Jeon Jun-woo
The Lotte Giants of the KBO don’t have Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), who is considered the best hitter in Korea, but they do have Lee Jung-hoon, the grandson of the wind. It’s not just their names that are similar. Their skills are becoming similar as well. Lee has been on fire with the bat, hitting seven home runs in his last four games as the designated hitter.
Lotte lost 8-10 against Gochuk Kiwoom on the 9th. The loss came after a two-game winning streak the day before. The game was disappointing in many ways. Three crucial fielding mistakes set the stage for a number of runs, and the mound management was not easily understood.
Still, there was a silver lining. The discovery of designated hitter Lee Jung-hoon. The LOTTE bats pounded out 11 hits in the game, three of which came from Lee, who ended the day 4-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored. Lee spearheaded Lotte’s offense in the first inning with a single to right field, and in the third inning of the fifth, he followed up with back-to-back singles after Kim Min-seok to help the team load the bases. In his fourth at-bat, he led off with a single, but the next two batters retired him on a walk and a single. In her final at-bat in the ninth inning, she drew a straight bunt to score the team’s first run. From there, Lotte scored five runs in the first inning.
In an interview with an international newspaper, Lee Jung-hoon revealed that the secret to his batting is “boldness.” “The more aggressively I hit, the better the results,” he said. “I also talk a lot with my batting coach Park Heung-sik,” he said, adding, “There’s something about pushing the center of my body inward when I hit, and he told me that if I keep doing that, I’ll do well in the future.”
Lee and Coach Park have a special relationship. Lee made his debut in a KIA Tigers uniform in 2017 with the 94th pick of the 10th round, before moving to Lotte this year. Lee and Park played together at KIA, where Park recognized Lee’s talent early on. The two have since reunited at Lotte, and their relationship is more than just teacher and pupil.
In recent years, Lee has been playing primarily as a designated hitter and showing off his incredible hitting ability. Since being called up to the first team on July 11, he has batted .429 with one home run and an OPS of 1.043 in 15 games. Narrowing it down to August games, he leads the league in that category with a 0.529 batting average in eight games. Below Lee are Na Sung-beom (0.519-KIA), Hwang Jae-gyun (0.517-kt), and Koo Ja-uk (0.500-Samsung).
Lee’s career has had its ups and downs. In the three seasons since his debut, he has made only 14 first-team appearances, spending most of his time in the second division.스포츠토토
As a result, he changed positions. Initially a catcher, he threw off his catcher’s mask and recently switched to first base or the outfield. “I’ve completely forgotten about catcher now. I’m going to focus on the outfield,” he said, adding, “I’m trying to make sure that I don’t let every at-bat go by because the opportunity to play in the first team is very precious right now.”
If he can keep up this kind of hitting form, he will definitely be able to establish himself as the main designated hitter in place of the struggling Jeon Jun-woo.