Kiwoom Heroes transfer student Lee Joo-hyung (22) is wielding a hard hit every day in his new team.
Lee Joo-hyung started as the designated hitter 5 times in the match against the NC Dinos of the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ held at NC Park in Changwon on the 6th, and played an active role with 3 hits, 1 home run, 2 RBIs and 2 points in 3 at-bats.
Lee Joo-hyung, who joined LG in the 2nd round (13th place) of the 2020 rookie draft, was a promising prospect, but he did not receive many opportunities in the first team due to the team situation where the main players were firmly established.
Then, on the 29th of last month, LG made a trade to recruit Kiwoom starting pitcher Choi Won-tae, and Lee Joo-hyung, in return, was transferred to Kiwoom along with Kim Dong-gyu and the 2024 rookie draft 1st round nomination (8th place).
From the first day of the transfer, Lee Joo-hyung, who started as the left fielder number 7 and received an opportunity, successfully finished the first game of the transfer with 1 hit and 1 run in 4 at-bats. Since then, he has started every game and has been steadily receiving opportunities.
Lee Joo-hyung, who looked back on the past, said, “At LG, each at-bat was so precious and it was difficult to get a chance to get one at-bat.” It seems that better results come out because I can look back on the parts I was disappointed in.”
Perhaps because of the environment in which he can strike freely, Lee Joo-hyung is showing signs that his hitting potential will be in full bloom as soon as he gets a chance. In the 8 games since he transferred, he has a batting average of 3.6 7 Lee (11 hits in 30 at-bats), 2 homers and 6 RBIs. He also improved his season performance with a batting average of 3.3 3 (15 hits in 45 at-bats), 2 home runs, 8 RBIs, and an OPS of .975 in 26 games.
Lee Joo-hyung said, “Pitchers in the 1st group are better at throwing the breaking ball than the pitchers in the 2nd group, and the rate of use is higher. He seems to be the first to adapt to the breaking ball. I think he needs to quickly learn what it feels like to bat and hit the breaking ball as well, rather than letting it pass until he gets 2 strikes. So he is hitting the breaking ball more actively,” he explained the secret to his success in the first team. He continued, “Because I have quick feet, even if a ground ball comes out, I can create an infield hit. My strength is that I can go to second base on any ball that falls sideways,” he added. 꽁머니
However, Lee Joo-hyung still can’t laugh to his heart’s content. Unfortunately, after Lee Joo-hyung came to Kiwoom, Kiwoom fell into a losing streak. Lee Joo-hyung lost all the matches from Samsung on the 29th of last month to NC on the 6th, wearing a Kiwoom uniform, and fell into an 8-game losing streak.
“The training is good and the team atmosphere is good,” said Lee Joo-hyung, “but since I came, the team has been on a losing streak, so that part worries me. I made a judgment mistake in defense, so I hope to focus more on defense than hitting and end the losing streak.”
Kiwoom plans to advance to the major leagues this season with Lee Jeong-hoo, the leading hitter. Considering Choi Won-tae, who has already left for LG, two key players will be missing next season. However, Lee Joo-hyung shows great potential and gives Kiwoom fans hope. Kiwoom fans are also eagerly waiting for the day when the top-class prospect, who is unable to smile due to the team’s losing streak, can escape the losing streak and smile.