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‘3 runs to 4 runs to 5 runs’ KIA release catcher’s remarkable transformation is all about hitting

Lotte Giants’ Lee Jung-hoon (29) has been swinging the bat like a champ.

Lee started as the No. 3 designated hitter against the Kiwoom Heroes in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Tuesday and went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks.

In the top of the first inning, Lee singled against Kiwoom starter Jung Chan-heon to put runners on first and second with one out. However, he was unable to capitalize as he was unable to get a follow-up hit.

In the bottom of the second inning, with Lotte trailing 2-3, Lee Jung-hoon tied the game with an RBI single off Chung Chan-heon. Nico Gudrum followed with an RBI single, and Lee came home on Yoon Dong-hee’s RBI single.

Lee hit a two-run double in the fourth inning to drive in Jung Chan-heon. In the sixth inning, he faced reliever Lee Myung-jong and drew a walk to load the bases. In the eighth inning, he drew a walk and scored on Ahn Kwon-soo’s push single.

Lee joined KIA in the 10th round (94th overall) of the 2017 rookie draft and was expected to be an offensive catcher with a good bat. However, he struggled in the first team until last year, hitting just 2-for-2 in 61 games (36 runs in 157 at-bats) with two home runs and 17 RBIs. Ultimately, he was released after the season.

Last winter, Lee signed with Lotte for a new opportunity. He was limited to the second team at the start of the season, but had a solid 54-game season in the Futures League, batting 2-for-8 (47-for-163) with two home runs, 26 RBIs, and a .719 OPS.

Once he was promoted to the big leagues, his bat heated up even more. In a three-game series with the Kiwis, he went 8-for-10 with three doubles. On the season, he is batting 4-for-6 with two doubles, one home run, two RBIs and six runs scored in 16 games (18-for-39).

Lee joined Lotte as a catcher, but now he’s actually playing the outfield and designated hitter. It’s unfortunate that he gave up the premium defense of catcher, but his bat has made up for it. With a fresh start with a new team, fans are eager to see how his journey will end. 파워볼사이트