A ‘genius shortstop’ in crisis, a ‘reversal’ in Okinawa…

Can the ‘genius shortstop’, who has been stagnant for three years, take off? Lee Hak-joo (33, Lotte Giants) maintains a steady sense of hitting in practice games.

Lee Hak-joo replaced SSG Landers in the 2023 spring camp practice match held at Gushikawa Baseball Stadium in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on the 4th as a major defense.

Han Dong-hee, who started as the starting third baseman that day, dropped out due to phlegm on his left side during the game, and Kim Min-soo moved to third base, Park Seung-wook moved to second base, and Lee Hak-ju also got a chance from the beginning of the game. 카지노사이트

Lee Hak-joo, who struck out in the first at-bat in the third inning, got on base by walking in the fourth inning. Then, when Jung Hoon’s 2 RBI double hit, he stepped on the home base and added a point. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Lee Hak-joo caught his breath as he turned to the shortstop grounder.

Lee Hak-joo’s bat finally caught fire in the last at-bat. Appearing at the end of the 8th inning when rookie Kim Min-seok added a run on a timely hit, he hit SSG Kim Joo-han’s ball through and hit a two-run home run over the right wall. It was Lee Hak-joo’s first home run at the Okinawa camp.

Lee Hak-joo played an active role that day with 1 hit in 3 at-bats (1 home run), 2 RBIs and 2 runs. He came out as the second batter that day and led the Lotte batting line with Kim Min-seok, who exploded 5 hits. Lotte won 8-4 amidst the performance of the other line and starter Na Kyun-an’s 1 run in 4 innings. I couldn’t see him when he lost 0-8 against KIA the previous day.

In the ‘Okinawa League’, Lee Hak-joo is showing hope in batting. He is adjusting his sense of hitting, starting with a double hit in an exchange match with Japan’s Chiba Lotte on the 22nd of last month. After moving to the main island of Okinawa, he was silent in 2 games, but recorded 2 hits, including the final RBI, in the match against Hanwha on the 2nd.

Until the game on the 4th, Lee Hak-joo had 4 hits in 13 at-bats (batting average of 0.308), 1 home run and 4 RBIs. He is also brightening his season prospects by making no major mistakes in the shortstop defense.

Lee Hak-ju, who was frustrated by an injury after going to the threshold of the Major League (MLB) in the past, stepped on the KBO league stage through Samsung in 2019. He raised so much expectations that he joined with the 2nd overall pick in the 2nd nomination.

In his first year, Lee Hak-joo had a batting average of 0.262 with 7 homers, 36 RBIs and 15 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.702. He didn’t stand out and he made 19 errors, but it wasn’t a poor number as it was a pitcher season.

But since then, it has rather declined. He missed 70 games in both 2020 and 2021. His batting average also dropped to 0.228 in 2020 and 0.206 in 2021. Eventually, Lee Hak-ju moved to Lotte through a trade ahead of the 2022 season. But even in Lotte, he was sluggish with a batting average of 0.207. When Dixon Machado, a foreign player, left, he was able to catch the shortstop, who was a Mujugongsan, like a ‘separated party’, but in the second half, he had to hand it over to Park Seung-wook, who was an outcast.

Ahead of this season, Lee Hak-joo signed a so-called ‘performance option contract’ in salary negotiations. Receiving a basic salary of 72 million won, he can raise his annual salary to 96 million won depending on his performance. He is a motivator for himself.

During the camp, Lee Hak-joo is sweating hard with the coaching staff. I practiced a lot of thinking less and taking a concise swing to fix the big swing with hitting coach Lee Byung-gyu. In defense, I trained in detail with coach Moon Kyu-hyun. Head coach Park Heung-shik advised him, “It’s okay to strike out, so be confident.”

Lotte’s starting shortstop this season is highly likely to be occupied by Noh Jin-hyeok, who moved to a free agent (FA). Lee Hak-joo is expected to serve as a shortstop backup. However, in a situation where only Roh Jin-hyeok cannot play all 144 games, Lee Hak-joo will be useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *