As many strikeouts as hits. The manager sees it as a positive. This is how Hong Won-ki sees Lee Joo-hyung (22-Keum Heroes).
Lee is the most talked about player in the second half. Drafted by the LG Twins in the second round of the 2020 Korean Baseball Organization draft, he became a member of the Kiwoom Heroes on March 29 after swapping jerseys with third-string pitcher Choi Won-jun. Although he was highly touted as a Class A prospect, he only played 32 games in the first team due to the depth of the LG outfield. However, after joining Kiwoom, he showed his potential. In 27 games, he hit .327 with three home runs, 21 RBIs, and 18 runs scored.
During his time with LG, Lee said he received advice from hitting coach Lee Ho-joon, who told him to “never change your current batting stance. Although his performance was untested in the first team, his smooth and concise hitting mechanics stood out in the eyes of Lee, who was a representative hitter in Korean baseball.
After joining Kiwoom, Lee played regularly and exceeded expectations. He took over the vacant starting left field position. “He’s doing a good job not only offensively, but also defensively and running the bases,” said Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki. “He’s still desperate and thirsty (for baseball).
“He has his flaws. He strikes out a bit too much. From his first game in a Kiwoom uniform (July 29) to the 30th, he had 29. That was the second-most of any hitter in the league during that time. Lee was third in hits (33) and first in strikeouts (27) in August.
He was particularly vulnerable to low-court changeups. This was the case on August 8 against the Gocheok Lotte Giants, when he struck out five times in one game. He struck out three times against left-handed starter Charlie Barnes’ outside (to lefties) slider. In the seventh and ninth innings, set-up man Koo Seung-min and closer Kim Won-joong couldn’t handle forked balls at all.먹튀검증
Manager Hong Won-ki sees an upside: “Lee is a player who can make in-play contact with any pitch, any type of pitcher, and make his own swings. It’s not a negative thing that he has a lot of false swings,” he said. “It means he’s confident in his swing. Even in the game against (Lotte) Barnes, the second time we met (against Lotte in Gochuk on the 18th), he got a hit and showed a different look from the previous game (where he struck out three times).” He shared his thoughts.
Although he is striking out a lot now, it means he can improve with experience. For Hong Won-ki, it’s not the strikeouts he’s looking out for, but injuries and slumps. “It’s his first time playing consistently, so it’s important for him to know what to do when his stamina drops. It’s also important for him to know how to respond when his stamina drops.”