From contemplating retirement to trying again to batting .474…and his family knew it. that he could explode one day.

The Lotte Giants are trying to keep the spark of a fifth-place finish alive.

Leading the way is outfielder Lee Jung-hoon (29). He was called up to the first team on March 11, and through 16 games against the Gochuk Kiwoom on March 10, he is batting 4-for-7 (18-for-38). His OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) is 1.133. In a three-game midweek series against Kiwoom on Aug. 8-10, in which he was in the starting lineup for all three games, he went 8-for-12. Behind Lee’s performance, Lotte ended their trip to Seoul on a high note, sweeping the series against Kiwoom.

Lee, who was selected by KIA in the 10th round of the 2017 rookie draft, had a career first-team batting average of just 2.229 until last year. In 2021, he hit a career-high 2-for-41 (32-for-129) with two home runs, 14 RBIs, and a .699 OPS in 41 games. The former college catcher showed promise as a mid-to-long range hitter in the Futures organization (second team), but he never quite blossomed into a full-time role. He tried a position change to first base in the 2021 season under manager Matt Williams, but was unable to resolve his defensive insecurities. He was eventually claimed off waivers in October of last year.

When KIA released Lee last year, it was with some trepidation, as he was a talent they couldn’t afford to part with. After all, he had been a triple-digit hitter in the Futures League in every season since joining the organization except 2021, and he was quite versatile as a backup catcher, first base substitute, and left-handed hitter. With defense issues and a steady left-handed bat in Ko Jong-wook, Lee’s opportunities were limited. Given his age – he’s in his 30s – it was hard to see him as anything more than a “future player. After much deliberation, Kia opted to let Lee go. It was an off-season for the team, but they had to consider the player’s future. At one point, Lee contemplated retirement, but Lotte recognized his talent and took him under their wing, and after a lot of hard work, Lee eventually succeeded in producing results in the first team.메이저놀이터

Lee was recognized for his soft batting form during his time at KIA. Not only did he make contact, but his natural power allowed him to produce quality at-bats. Recently, he has been showing the same form at Lotte. Unlike at KIA, where he was a catcher and first baseman, he switched to the outfield. He is proving to be an excellent hitter, so if he can show improvement in his defense, he could be in line for a full-time role.

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