Kiwoom’s flagship hitter Lee Jung-hoo has been a corner infielder since his debut in 2017. He occasionally played center field, but that wasn’t his primary position. However, coach Hong Won-ki turned Lee Jung-hoo into center fielder as soon as he took office in 2021. So Lee Jung-hoo played full-time center fielder for the past two years.

Director Hong’s decision also took Kiwoom’s circumstances into account, but in fact, the prevailing view was that it was a great consideration for Lee Jung-hoo’s future value. He believed that a high value could be set when entering the major leagues when he developed as a center fielder rather than building a career as a corner outfielder.

In fact, even in the major leagues, center fielders receive a higher price than corner outfielders if they have similar air-defense balance and offensive production. A center fielder should have a wider range of defense than a corner outfielder and should have excellent athleticism. It is a trend that is evolving from the exclusive property of hitters for leadoffs or table setters to the position of middle-distance hitters with one shot.

Baseball officials and leaders say that Lee Jung-hoo is only overshadowed by his tremendous hitting ability, and that his center field defense is also the best in the league. He occasionally caught the attention of fans with his massive shoulder and accurate throw. His feet aren’t very fast either, but he’s capable of quick responses. Based on the baseball statistics website Statties, he ranked 3rd in the outfield with a WAA of 1.207 in the 2022 season and 4th in the outfield with a batted ball handling rate of 48.9%. It was even 5th most innings with 1155.1 innings.메이저사이트

The question now is whether Lee Jung-hoo will be able to play as a regular center fielder in international competitions. At the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Park Hae-min (LG) was a built-in center fielder, and Lee Jung-hoo mainly played the left fielder rather than the right fielder. At the time, Lee Jeong-hoo was playing as a center fielder for Kiwoom, but former coach Kim Gyeong-moon left center fielder to Park Hae-min, who had better defense, and made Lee Jung-hoo focus on batting relatively.

Na Seong-beom (KIA) was added to the outfield for the WBC national team from the outfield for the Tokyo Olympics (Lee Jung-hoo, LG Kim Hyun-soo, NC Park Gun-woo, Park Hae-min). It is certain that Lee Jung-hoo will play as the starting pitcher, but there is no guarantee that he will overtake Park Hae-min and play as center fielder. International tournaments are short-lived, and defense is important. It is not easy for Lee Jung-hoo to surpass Park Hae-min in defense.

However, if the lineup is focused on offense, a scenario is drawn in which Park Hae-min waits on the bench and Lee Jung-hoo plays center fielder while Park Gun-woo or Na Seong-beom increases the weight. It is difficult to anticipate coach Lee Kang-cheol’s plan at this point, but it is clear that if Lee Jung-hoo shows a good performance as a center fielder in international competitions, it will be helpful in the process of advancing to the major leagues a year later, but there will be nothing to lose.

On this day, Lee Jung-hoo leaves for LA, USA for his personal training. He has hired a trainer and personal coach. He looks set to join Kiwoom’s Scottsdale, Arizona spring camp straight away in February in LA.

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