The last step-up of “Lee Dae-ho’s successor” will be 18 months later…I wonder if I’ll grow up and come back as the first Han Donghee

Lee Dae-ho’s last step-up failed. The final process of his growth will be confirmed 18 months later. Will Lee Dae-ho’s successor be reborn as the No. 1 Han Dong-hee.룸알바

Han Dong-hee of the Lotte Giants joined the army on last Thursday to fulfill his military duty. After receiving basic military training at the army training center, he will play in the military sports unit (Sangmu) for 18 months to complete his military service. He will be discharged from the army on Dec. 9, 2025. Starting from the 2026 season, he will be able to play in the first division normally.

Han Dong-hee, who wore a Lotte uniform as his first choice in 2018, has high expectations as the successor to Lee Dae-ho. An infield slugger from Kyungnam High School, he was the successor to an enemy general who would take over as the cleanup hitter for Lee Dae-ho, who would one day retire. With such potential, Han received keen attention from the time he joined the team.

However, during the first two seasons, Han had to suffer from growing pains. As soon as she joined the professional league, she wandered off in front of the professional wall.

Then, in 2020, he began to receive trust and time in earnest, and gradually burst his potential. From 2020 to 2022, his performance was upward for three seasons. Gradually, he began to become the big gun representing Lotte. After Lee Dae-ho retired in 2022, Han Dong-hee began to feel confident that he will become the big gun representing Lotte from 2023. Based on the graph of the right-wingers so far, 2023 has been a year when he has overcome the barrier of growth and become a solid main player.

In 2023, however, Han’s growth graph sharply declined. He fell as he failed to focus on his growth. After producing double-digit homers and more than 65 RBIs for the third consecutive year, his productivity dropped sharply. He was sluggish in 2023 with a batting average of 223 percent (71 hits in 319 times at bat) with five homers and 32 RBIs with an OPS of .583. All year round, no solution has been found.

And while preparing for this season, it was decided to join the military during the season. In 2019-2020, Han Dong-hee had an opportunity to resolve the military issue early on, but due to various circumstances, she postponed her mandatory military service. He also tried to select the national team for the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games, but it was not easy. At the most important time, he was engulfed in the worst slump.

In the end, he decided to serve until early June 2024 and join the military. Nevertheless, he even took lessons at Kang Jung-ho Academy in Los Angeles during the off-season with the help of his idol Lee Dae-ho. When he was wandering around during the 2023 season, he pointed out his batting mechanism through his personal YouTube channel and started correcting himself for a short time. With Kang’s expectations in one body, Han started correcting the mechanism, and showed how he was immersed in Han’s charm through Lee Dae-ho’s YouTube video. Still, Han was an attractive player.

Coach Kim Tae-hyung also could not afford to disregard the attractiveness and potential of Han Dong-hee, and sought to maximize her capability. Due to Kim’s idea, Han was the main third baseman and center hitter for the first two months. Han also wanted to recover his fame before joining the military this year. He wanted to join the military after playing the first two months of the 2024 season without regret. He also had high expectations for a different player at the exhibition game of the spring camp.

As soon as the exhibition game started, he became paralyzed from injury. He suffered an internal oblique muscle injury during his swing process. He failed to join the opening game entry and returned to the primary league until mid-April. However, he failed to clearly impress his changed form in the primary league. He only posted a batting average of 16.7 percent (three hits in 18 times at bat) in seven games during the first 10 days of April. Ten days later, he returned to the game against the Sajik Hanwha Eagles on May 9. He also garnered three hits in three times at bat, two doubles and two RBIs in the game against the Hanwha Eagles. However, he suffered a hamstring injury upon his return.

In the end, it was the last spark for Han. After the match against Doosan Bears in Jamsil on May 18, Han was removed from the roster of the main league team, and without any additional call-ups, he would recover from injury, clean up his mind and body, and serve in the military to sum up the season. He finished the 2024 season with a batting average of 257 percent (nine hits in 35 times at bat) and three RBIs with an OPS of .592. It was the moment when the last two months before Han Dong-hee’s desperate bid to join the military disappeared in vain. In the end, he failed to recover his honor.

The 2026 season, when Han Dong-hee will return from military service, is also the last season of Kim Tae-hyung’s contract. We hope that he will become mentally mature and physically trained at Sangmu to return to a healthy mind and body. Han Dong-hee’s wandering and slump were more psychological than technical. It was a repetition of a vicious cycle in which he collapsed technically as his mind faltered.

The Futures League, which includes Sangmu, is separated from the first division, so players can play without burden of performance. With a career batting average of 41,819 (119 hits in 285 times at bat) and 25 homers and 81 RBIs in the Futures League, technical verification is no longer needed. What matters is how to manage injuries and adjust psychological aspects well before returning. If he returns after 18 months of maturity, he will be reborn as the “first Han Dong-hee” rather than a promising player who is shadowed by Lee Dae-ho. Will he be able to complete his final step-up in 18 months.

Leave a Reply

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