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Oh Seon-jin to leave Hanwha after one year “I’m excited to reunite with Lotte coach Lee Sung-gon”

Oh Seon-jin (오선진) says goodbye to the Hanwha Eagles for the second time. “It’s really unfortunate to leave the team again just a year after returning to…

Oh Seon-jin (오선진) says goodbye to the Hanwha Eagles for the second time.

“It’s really unfortunate to leave the team again just a year after returning to Hanwha,” Oh said weakly, “but I know that new encounters can be motivating. The Lotte Giants have given me a chance, so I’ll do my best to show them how good I am,” he said.

Oh was selected by Lotte with the ninth overall pick in the second round of the 2023 Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) Draft on Feb. 22.

After Ahn Chi-hong signed a free agent (FA) contract with Hanwha for up to six years and a total of 7.2 billion won ($7.2 million), Lotte selected Oh and Choi Hang (formerly of SSG Landers) from the same position in the second round.

Oh said, “I signed a free agent contract (1+1 years, up to 400 million won) with Hanwha last November. I was really happy to come back to the place where I started my professional career (2008).” “It’s unfortunate that I had to leave the team again after a year, but as a professional player, you have to accept it. Manager Son Hyuk said, ‘I’m sorry,’ but it’s really okay. I understand the club’s situation,” he said.

“I’m grateful to Lotte for investing a significant transfer fee (300 million won in second-round compensation) to select me,” he said. “Lotte is the most popular team in the KBO. We will work hard to prepare for the 2023 season so that our fans will not be disappointed.”

The sadness of parting ways with the Hanwha players, who were like brothers, is offset by the excitement of meeting new people.

For Oh, Lotte is also a place of reunion.

“I have a strong relationship with the Lotte coaches. Coach Ko Young-min is a senior at Seongnam High School. I played with Coach Kim Min-jae at Hanwha, and Coach Kim Kwang-soo was the head coach at Hanwha.” “It’s also interesting to see Lee Sung-gon, who I now have to call my coach, again.”

After playing for Hanwha, Oh moved to the Samsung Lions in June 2021 in a one-for-one trade for outfielder Lee Sung-gon.

The two became “teammates” when Oh returned to Hanwha in 2023.

Lee recently announced his retirement from baseball and decided to begin his coaching career as an assistant hitting coach for the Lotte Futures.

“A few days ago, I met Sung-gon at the Hanwha training center in Seosan, and he said, ‘I’m starting a new life as a Lotte coach,'” Oh said. I told him, ‘You’re starting your coaching career with a good team, so don’t be too sad. I replied, ‘I’ll just say congratulations,’ but we met again at Lotte.” He laughed and said, “I’ll serve you strictly as a coach now.”

Oh batted .276 with three home runs and 24 RBIs in 100 games for Samsung in 2022, splitting time between starter and backup.

This year, he hit .230 with 14 RBIs in 90 games. He was hit in the jaw by a pitch and had some disappointing at-bats, but he was recognized for his defense.

“I really wanted to be a member of the championship team at Hanwha, which hasn’t won a championship since 1999. I left without achieving my goal, and I’m sorry to the fans,” Oh said. “Now my goal is to win a championship with the Lotte Giants (who haven’t won a championship since 1992). I don’t need to be the lead actor. I’ll be a supporting actor who will definitely help Lotte.” 토토

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