Lotte Giants nominated Whimungo infielder Kim Min-seok (20), who was called ‘Little Lee Jung-hoo’ in the rookie raft held last September.
The 1st nomination from the region was abolished and a full draft was conducted, but Gyeongnam High School from the region had two first-rounders. Shin Yeong-woo (NC), the best right-hander who threw up to 154 km, and catcher Kim Bum-seok (LG), who hit 10 homers in his senior year of high school, were the targets. In particular, Lotte, which had catcher concerns, pointed out Kim Beom-seok as a candidate for the first round.
However, Lotte focused only on potential and talent regardless of position, and changed direction when the draft was imminent. It was decided to nominate Kim Min-seok, who boasted the best batting talent in high school.
Afterwards, Lotte designated Kim Min-seok and started intensive care. Positioning was urgently needed. In high school, he played shortstop and second baseman, but compared to his batting talent, his infield defense was not evaluated very well. In order to find a suitable position for him, the priority was to play a lot of real matches without burden. Lotte dispatched Kim Min-seok to Geelong Korea, an Australian professional baseball team, even before he officially joined the team. He was planning to find the best position while playing both infield and outfield in Australia.
And the club also constantly communicated with Kim Min-seok, who was in Australia. Director Seong Min-gyu flew directly to Australia. And Kim Min-seok’s position has been sorted out to some extent. Although Kim Min-seok did not abandon his lingering feelings in the infield, the club realized that there was a burden on throwing in the infield after an in-depth interview. In the 1st team spring camp, he did not neglect infield training, but increased the proportion of outfield training. Kim Min-seok’s position was being organized into the outfield.
The club persuaded him, and Jeon Jun-ho, who was teaching outfield defense with a focus on basic skills at the spring camp, acknowledged Kim Min-seok’s athleticism and tried to change his mind by giving an example, saying, “There are many outfield positions among players who hit the FA jackpot.” .
Kim Min-seok, who was virtually blank on outfield defense, quickly absorbed the concept of outfield defense like a sponge. He has to take risks with his experience바카라, but he is ready to put in real games, and Okinawa practice shows that he has quickly adapted to the professional stage and as an outfielder.
On the 28th of last month, he was replaced by center fielder in place of Ahn Kwon-soo in the Samsung game, and he played an active role with 1 hit and 1 steal in 2 at-bats. The double steal, which was the starting point of the 6-3 come-from-behind victory, was successful. In the match against SSG on the 1st, he started as center fielder and led the team to a 6-3 victory with 2 hits in 4 at-bats, 1 run, 1 walk and 1 steal as a leadoff.
There was nothing to talk about batting talent, but defense was the key. However, there were no scenes that would cause great concern, such as a mistake in judging the batted ball. Considering the windy weather conditions in Okinawa, the outfield defense environment was not good, but there were no mistakes. In the match against SSG on the 1st, there was an issue with left fielder Hwang Seong-bin and call play, but there were no mistakes and it could be interpreted as a step toward gaining experience.
After the game, Kim Min-seok said, “Today, I recorded 2 hits and 1 steal in 4 at-bats. He seems to have completed the mission given to him with a leadoff,” he said, expressing satisfaction with himself. If he goes to the next game, he will play with confidence.”
Director Larry Sutton also fell for Kim Min-seok’s charm, saying, “I want to keep watching.”
In the Lotte outfield, Jack Rex and Ko Seung-min are virtually fixed, and Ahn Kwon-soo and Hwang Seong-bin compete. However, if Kim Min-seok’s current growth trend is the same, both Ahn Kwon-soo and Hwang Seong-bin could be in danger. Or you could envision Koh Seung-min returning to first base and Kim Min-seok taking the spot, followed by Ahn Kwon-soo and Hwang Seong-bin competing.
Of course, there is a risk in entrusting the starting position to a newcomer right away in the club’s situation where it has to ‘win-now’. However, if you become competent and win the competition, there is no reason not to give a seat. Lee Jung-hoo, who is like Kim Min-seok’s role model, was also an infielder at the time of his high school nomination, but turned to an outfielder at the same time as joining Kiwoom, and grew into the league’s MVP and top hitter. Lotte’s ‘Little Lee Jung-hoo’ project has picked up speed and is progressing faster than expected.