Reporter Kwon Hyeok-joon = The Samsung Lions’ second baseman-shortstop competition in the ‘center infield’ is expected to intensify in the new season. This is because veteran infielders Kim Sang-soo (33, KT Wiz) and Oh Seon-jin (34, Hanwha Eagles) left the team as free agents.
Of course, Kang Han-wool (32) holds on to one spot, but the remaining one is ‘infinite competition’. It is an important season that can be a new opportunity for new players.
Kim Ji-chan (22) and Lee Jae-hyeon (20) are strong candidates to take over the position. It seems obvious that they will receive many opportunities this year as they have received considerable expectations from the time they joined, such as the 2nd round in 2020 (Kim Ji-chan) and the 1st nomination in 2022 (Lee Jae-hyun).
If Kang Han-wool takes a break, the two can start at the same time. It is worth drawing a picture of the ‘Little Keystone Combi’ between Kim Ji-chan, the shortest (163 cm) in professional baseball, and Lee Jae-hyun, a second-year high school graduate.
Kim Ji-chan and Lee Jae-hyun, who met with reporters before leaving for Okinawa, Japan, the location of the spring camp on the 30th, expressed their determination to participate in the season with expectations rather than burden. 스포츠토토
Kim Ji-chan said, “It’s unfortunate that the seniors left, but I don’t think anything has changed.”
“I don’t know who will fill the vacant seat, but even if I go, the expectations are greater than the burden,” he said. “I think I can have more fun because there are more young players.”
Kim Ji-chan played in 113 games last year, recording a batting average of 0.280, 25 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases. He also enjoyed the honor of being selected as an All-Star for two consecutive years, and increased his proportion in the team by digesting 429 plate appearances, the most since his debut.
He said, “It’s my fourth year as a member, and I think I have to show a better image,” he said. “My goal is to show a better image than last year.”
Lee Jae-hyeon, who was a rookie and played in 75 games in his first year as a player and completed adaptation, revealed his goal of becoming a starting pitcher.
He said, “Last year, I missed a period twice due to injury, so there was a lot of regret. So during the off-season, I prepared by doing flexibility exercises and weights in parallel.” “I set the goal to play more than one game,” he said.
The fact that the command tower is coach Park Jin-man is a great nourishment for Lee Jae-hyun. Manager Park is a person who made a name for himself as the best shortstop during his active career.
Lee Jae-hyun said, “When I do defensive training, the coach shows me a demonstration, so it’s easier to understand.”
Specifically, strengthening ‘concentration’ was cited as an important task. He said, “In the first season, there were many times when mistakes were made on easy batting balls,” he said.