There was nothing better in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). Although the results of the Korean national team were not good, the two genius hitters performed a great job worthy of their name value.
However, once the season started, he was nowhere to be seen. At this rate, he may have a career-low season. This is the story of Kiwoom Lee Jung-hoo (25) and KT Kang Baek-ho (24), the present and future of Korean baseball.
In the WBC last March, Lee Jeong-hoo batted 0.429 OPS 1.071 and Kang Baek-ho flew with a batting average 0.429 OPS 1.207. Of course, I only played 4 games, and the pitchers I faced were not special except for the game against Japan. Still, the results of off-season preparations came out. It was a performance sufficient to expect a limited performance in the 2023 season.
The results at the beginning of this season were unexpected. Until the 17th, Lee Jeong-hoo had a batting average of 0.253 OPS 0.725, and Kang Baek-ho had a batting average of 0.271 OPS 0.778. Considering that Lee Jeong-hoo’s career batting average and OPS were 0.338 and 0.894, and Kang Baek-ho’s career batting average and OPS were 0.314 and 0.898, this is an exceptional slump.
Of course, it is also important to consider that it is still early in the season. No one thinks their performance will stop here, and it is expected that a different number will be stamped at the end of the 144 race race. If so, the club should induce them to quickly find their place. The card chosen by Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki and KT coach Lee Kang-cheol was their forward deployment.
Lee Jung-hoo has been on the top of the lineup since the 2nd. Coach Hong hoped that Lee Jung-hoo would steadily play at-bats as the number one hitter and enhance his sense of hitting. And you can see the upward curve. Lee Jung-hoo, who had a batting average of 0.218 OPS and 0.678 in April, is recording a batting average of 0.305 OPS and 0.795 in May. He is not yet at a satisfactory level, but if he maintains the upward trend, a down indicator can be created after Lee Jung-hoo.
It is Lee Jung-hoo, who went through a transitional period due to the modification of the hitting mechanic he planned during the winter, and then returned to the old hitting mechanic. It seems to take more time to find a place completely.
On the 16th, Kang Baek-ho came out as the first batter for the first time. As planned, he went six at-bats and had two hits. Even in the 17th, he played as a leadoff, going 2-for-5 with 1 RBI. Kang Baek-ho, who seemed to be looking for an MVP until the first week of the opening season, is on the verge of regaining his form in the first batting order.스포츠토토
KT coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “I thought it was okay to put Baek-ho first because the clean-up would be Alford, Park Byung-ho, and Moon Sang-cheol. Baekho sees the ball well at number 1. He said, “I think it will come out good if he continues to hit the plate.”
No hitter is good all year round. All hitters form long season cycles. In the case of Kang Baek-ho, he had a poor season due to an injury last year. Still, no one doubts their talent. The league scene will be more interesting when Lee Jung-hoo and Kang Baek-ho, who are also paying attention to the major leagues, come back to life. Kiwoom and KT, who were evaluated for their top 5 powers before the season, are in the lower ranks side by side. This is why Lee Jung-hoo and Kang Baek-ho’s rebound is desperately needed from the club’s point of view.