The second baseman competition is completely on fire.”
In a recent meeting with reporters in Jamsil, KT coach Lee Kang-cheol cited solving the second baseman’s worries as one of the reasons for the miraculous rebound from last place to the top 5 in two months.
KT has been looking for a successor to veteran Park Kyung-soo (39) since the appointment of manager Lee Kang-cheol in 2019, but has not been able to find the right resources. Oh Yun-seok, Kwon Dong-jin, Shin Bon-gi, and Kim Byung-hee participated in the second baseman audition and suffered the loss of being eliminated repeatedly. In the end, Park Kyung-soo had to extend his active service for another year at the request of manager Lee Kang-cheol, despite his poor batting average of 10%, 2.0 and 10 RBIs in 100 games last year. KT has yet to find a second baseman with more stable defense than Park Kyung-soo.
Unable to find resources internally, KT turned its attention to the outside. And on May 19, Lotte brought right-handed and left-handed second baseman Lee Ho-yeon in return for the founding member, left-handed pitcher Shim Jae-min. KT general manager Na-Hyun Na explained the reason for the recruitment, saying, “Lee Ho-yeon can play all infield positions, and we expect synergy effects through competition with existing infield resources.”
As a result, this trade alone changed the game for KT’s second baseman position. Lee Ho-yeon, who had a hard time adjusting to the new nest with a batting average of 10% in May, changed into a completely different player in June. He led the rebound with a walk-off hit on the 16th, his first four hits on the 18th, a batting average of 3.5 4 Lee and 6 RBIs in June, batting average . 3 5 7 Lee in July, and good hits of 3.3 3 Lee in August maintaining a sense On June 21, in the match against Lotte in Suwon, he fractured his nose bone due to a ball he hit, but showed amazing recovery and led the post audition for Park Kyung-soo.
Lee Ho-yeon’s rebound stimulated other second basemen. A representative player is Oh Yoon-seok, who traded from Lotte to KT in July 2021, like Lee Ho-yeon. Oh Yoon-seok, who often went back and forth between the 1st and 2nd teams due to a severe slump in the first half, became a completely different player after being called by coach Lee on June 22nd. He tuned his senses with a batting average of 2.6 and 7.0 in June, and hit a batting average of .500 in July, rapidly emerging as Lee Ho-yeon’s competitor for second base. In particular, at the end of July, with a batting average of 7.5% in 5 games, it contributed greatly to the rebound of the KT miracle.
Coach Lee said, “If you practice batting, all three second basemen hit well. The competition was completely on fire. The stamina arrangement is taking care of itself,” he said with satisfaction, “Lee Ho-yeon’s trade was great. There was not a single left-handed hitter in our infield, but with the arrival of a left-handed hitter, it became easier to form a batting line. A lot has changed with that one player.”
The players also regard Lee Ho-yeon’s trade as a move from God. Oh Yoon-seok said, “We are having a positive effect by competing in good faith. “There is a synergistic effect,” he said. We know how Hoyeon is feeling now, and we need to study each other and come up with results. If we work hard, synergy can happen to the team.”
He added, “(Lee) Hoyeon has been living with Lotte since he was in the 2nd division. He is my younger brother whom I adore and cherish. When Ho-yeon said he was transferring, he liked it, so he contacted me first,” he said. I also do research on how to do well,” explained the Lee Ho-yeon effect.꽁머니사이트
The seniors are also proud to see the juniors working hard every day to become the starting second baseman. Park Kyung-soo’s biggest goal before retirement was to find a junior to succeed him.
Park Kyung-soo said, “I am very happy to see the competition between Lee Ho-yeon and Oh Yoon-seok. Both players worked hard and made a lot of good plays, so I’m happy. I hope it goes well,” he said. “If there is a personal wish, I hope that it does well while forming an atmosphere where the player behind can cheer for either player. I don’t know what each of them is thinking, but it feels good to actually do it.”