During his playing days, Park Jin-man of the Samsung Lions was one of the KBO’s leading shortstops, earning the nickname “The People’s Shortstop”. Many players learned and grew from watching Park.
Samsung, in particular, had a lineage of “main shortstops” in Ryu Jung-il, Park Jin-man, and Kim Sang-soo, who were the anchors of Samsung’s infield for years and earned the trust of the team. But with generational change inevitable, Samsung was faced with the challenge of finding new faces. The team’s present and future were at stake.
Finally, an infielder emerged to ease the team’s worries. Enter Lee Jae-hyun, the “baby lion” who roams the infield at Lions Park.
After joining Samsung as a first-round pick last year, Lee played 75 games in the first team in his rookie year, batting .235 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs in 230 at-bats. His 11 errors left something to be desired, but he focused on gaining experience in his first season.
This season, now firmly established as the starting shortstop, Lee’s numbers are 56 games, 191 at-bats, 43 doubles, .225, 6 home runs, and 22 RBI. While the numbers aren’t much different from last year, it’s worth noting that he’s had a strong start to the season.
In particular, Lee drove in three runs, including one home run, in the team’s 9-7 win over the Lotte Giants at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Oct. 10. In a postgame interview, he said, “I wanted to do better because of my defensive mistake the day before, but it feels good to win after hitting a home run that allowed the team to escape.”
Park Jin-man, the “national shortstop,” also recognized Jae-hyun’s potential.
Before the game against Lotte on the 11th, Park reflected on Lee’s performance, saying, “He gained some experience by playing last year, and I think he gained a lot of freedom that he didn’t have last year because he trained a lot in spring training this year.” “I think he gained confidence because he can control his strength and weakness now,” he said.토토사이트
“His batting can be good and bad, but defensively, he seems to be finding some stability. It’s not easy for a second-year player to find that kind of stability. He’s a talented player, so he’s getting to a level where he can control his strengths and weaknesses,” he praised.
Before the start of spring training this year, Lee set a goal of playing more than 100 games. At his current pace, he is likely to reach 100 games or more. “It’s not 100 games, but you have to play almost everything now,” Park Jin-man said. “As a starter, you have to play everything if your physical strength supports you, and I think you have to take that responsibility, so I think you will be able to grow more in the future.”