Lotte Giants new manager Kim Tae-hyung mentioned in a TV news interview ahead of his departure from the spring camp in Guam on April 31. Captain Jeon Joon-woo, main catcher Yoo Kang-nam and Yoon Dong-hee, who was reborn as an outfielder for the national team last year, were the main characters.
Jeon is the pillar of Lotte that cannot be disputed. Born in 1986, Jeon is the oldest player in his team and the core of his batting lineup. He had a batting average of 0.312 (154 hits in 493 times at bat) with 17 homers and 77 RBIs and nine stolen bases with an OPS of 0.852 in 138 games last year, showing off his performance as the best right-handed batter in the league. He is also expected to have leadership as a captain in the 2024 season.
He is the flagship player that South Korean coach Kim Tae-hyung has high expectations for. Kim, who used to be a catcher when he was an active player, is usually cool-headed about his catchers’ skills and game management. Since taking the helm of Lotte in October last year, however, he has been emphasizing that his main catcher is Yoo Kang-nam.
After the end of the 2022 season, Yoo moved from LG Twins to Lotte through free agency. Yoo showed good performance with a batting average of 0.261 (92-for-352 at bat) with 10 homers and 55 RBIs in 121 games last year.
Yoon Dong-hee is a rising star that Lotte boasts. He has emerged as Cinderella of the 2023 season, the giant corps, in her second year since joining the professional league. He had a batting average of 0.287 (at bat in 387) in 107 games with 111 hits, two homers, 41 RBIs and three stolen bases with an OPS of 0.687. He had two hits and one RBI in four games in the 2022 season, which was his first year since debut, and displayed remarkable performance and skills.
His batting performance and defensive performance also marked an upward trajectory. Based on his laser throwing ability and stable batting ability, he secured the position as Lotte’s main right fielder. Lotte ranked seventh in the regular season last year and failed to advance to the post season for six consecutive years, but Yoon’s discovery was clearly a big achievement.
With the appearance of Yoon Dong-hee, Lotte had hope that it could completely resolve the gap in right field that occurred when franchise star Son Ah-seop moved to NC Dinos as a FA after the end of the 2021 season.
Yoon’s growth also caught the eye of national baseball team coach Ryu Joong-il at the Hangzhou Asian Games. Yoon was not included in the final entry for the Asian Games, which the KBO announced in June last year, but he added the national flag as a substitute due to injury right before the opening of the Asian Games.
Yoon has turned the Hangzhou Asian Games into a stage for himself. In all six games played by Korea, Yoon had a batting average of 0.435 (10 hits in 23 times at bat) with one homer and six RBIs, and 1.196 OPS. He has been a leading player in Korean baseball’s gold medal at the Asian Games for four consecutive times, and has even received special exemption from mandatory military service.
During the Asian Games, Ryu Joong-il, head coach of the national baseball team, praised the young player’s strong performance in offense and defense, saying, “I think what would have happened if I didn’t pick Yoon Dong-hee.”
Yoon Dong-hee seems to be reflected in a special way even in the eyes of Lotte coach Kim Tae-hyung, who took the helm of Lotte this season. During the closing camp in October last year, Kim could not spend much time with Yoon.
As Yoon Dong-hee was selected for the 2023 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) national team and headed to Japan, the time to watch Yoon Dong-hee closely was very short.
Yoon was actually deployed to an autonomous training group during the Lotte Giants’ closing camp, but he sweated more than anyone else. Before joining the APBC National Team, Yoon conducted intensive training sessions by himself to boost his sense of hitting back to a normal track.
When he was with the Doosan Bears, manager Kim Tae-hyung often evaluated young players’ skills in his first full-time season as a variable rather than a constant. However, he says he is not worried about Yoon Dong-hee at all. He sees that he is a player who is impeccable not only for his current skills but also for his attitude toward baseball and his training attitude.
“Yoon Dong-hee is very different from other players of his age. He clearly has his own routine of training on the field and his actions are very serious,” coach Kim Tae-hyung said, adding, “I think I can just let him be. He is a player who has absolutely nothing to say.”
“One thing that worries me is that players with strong routines like Yoon tend to fall into deep agony when baseball is not working,” he said. “Still, I haven’t experienced Yoon Dong-hee for sure yet. I don’t think I need to worry. I trust him enough to tell the media during the interview that he is the main player.”
Manager Kim Tae-hyung has drawn a blueprint for the composition of Lotte’s outfielders in this season to some extent. Changes can vary widely depending on players’ physical conditions and conditions, but the “right fielder Yoon Dong-hee” card is basically solid.
Victor Reyes, a new foreign hitter who he recruited this year, is considering hiring a center fielder. Reyes is an outfielder with right-handed pitching and batting average of 196 centimeters and 87 kilograms, and has robust physique.
The remaining left-field seats are inevitably contested. Only when Kim Min-seok, Hwang Sung-bin, and Ko Seung-min demonstrate their value in adapting quickly in their second year since their debut in the pro league last year, can they grab a spot in the starting lineup.
Manager Kim Tae-hyung highly values the ability of an outfielder to defend himself unless he has the best bat ability in the league. Players who have appealed their value not only with their bat but also with their gloves during the spring camp can have an opportunity from the second spring camp practice game in Okinawa, Japan, which will take place at the end of this month.
BY: 메이저 토토사이트