Samsung Lee Jae-hyun, who showed potential from the first year, will he survive the shortstop war?
- on Jan 26, 2023
Lee Jae-hyeon (20) of the Samsung Lions has been evaluated as a player with the DNA of a shortstop since his days in Seoul High School. After starting baseball in the fourth grade of elementary school, he mostly played only as a shortstop, and in high school, he was praised for being as good as professional players with short ball handling and diving catches in national competitions. 안전놀이터
His high school ratings do not guarantee success in the pros. In particular, shortstops, who are responsible for the widest range in the infield, need to take a completely different approach than they did in high school because they have to understand the hitter’s batting speed as well as their tendencies.
Lee Jae-hyeon also had difficulty adapting in the beginning. However, his potential can be seen only with the record of 380.1 innings, the most in the team as a shortstop last year, his first year of joining. He committed 11 errors, but only two in 22 games in the second half. He hit 7 homers (batting average of 0.235, 23 RBIs) at bat and showed off his slugging power. He has proven that he can develop into an offensive and defensive shortstop. Ja-wook Koo, the signboard of Samsung, also commented on Lee Jae-hyun, saying, “I have no burden even though I play in the first team right after finishing high school. He is on a different level from me when I was 20.”
After last season, veteran infielders Kim Sang-soo (KT Wiz) and Oh Seon-jin (Hanwha Eagles) transferred as free agents. Lee Hae-seung, who pitched 245.1 innings as a shortstop, third on the team, also enlisted in the Armed Forces Sports Unit (Sangmu). Currently, Kim Ji-chan is the second baseman and Kang Han-ul is the third baseman. Lee Jae-hyeon, a ‘professional shortstop’, is clearly in an advantageous position. Lee Jae-hyeon, who had coach Park Jin-man as his role model since elementary school, truly seized a golden opportunity.
Lee Jae-hyun’s ceaseless efforts are also a hopeful factor. After joining the team, he steadily strengthened his strength through weight training, and even equipped himself with a mentality that did not interfere with each other by participating in long-term races with 144 races per team. Lee Jae-hyun said, “Unlike in high school, playing games every day, I learned to forget quickly without adjusting my mood to the results of the day. He realized a lot about what kind of mindset he should prepare for.” If Lee Jae-hyun survives the shortstop competition, Samsung’s concerns will be greatly reduced.