The burden of ‘Post Lee Dae-ho’… Can Han Dong-hee overcome it?

Han Dong-hee, who was not satisfied with the batting average of 30% in the first season of his debut, will the new season be different

? They succeeded in catching catcher Yoo Kang-nam and infielder Roh Jin-hyeok, who were free agents (FA), and embraced many players who had been released, including veteran left-handed pitcher Cha Woo-chan.

In addition, the Stove League is progressing smoothly, including the growth of promising players who are sweating in Geelong Korea of ​​the Australian Professional Baseball (ABL) and the renewal of contracts for three foreign players. Interest in Lotte’s performance this season is high enough to be mentioned as a candidate for the quarterfinals.

In fact, there are not only positive factors. The retirement of Lee Dae-ho, who finished his career at the end of last season, is a ‘minus factor’. Even in his retirement season, he hit over 20 home runs and even won the Golden Glove designated hitter category.

The void cannot disappear overnight, but the eyes of Lotte fans are directed to ‘Post Lee Dae-ho’, who has a sense of responsibility and burden at the same time. Infielder Han Dong-hee, who has been in his 6th year as a professional this year after making his first-team debut in 2018, is the main character.

The team and players were good until April, but

last year, Han Dong-hee played in 129 regular season games, recording a batting average of 0.307 (140 hits in 456 at-bats), 14 homers, 65 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.817. For the first time since his debut, he recorded a batting average of 300 or more, and following 2020 and 2021 (more than 17), last year (14) also produced double-digit home runs.

Actually, it wasn’t a ‘100 point season’. Looking at the month of April, it was fine. Han Dong-hee swung hard with a batting average of 0.427 (38 hits in 89 bats), 7 homers, 22 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.249 in 24 games for a month after the start of the regular season. Thanks to this, he beat Kwang-hyun Kim (SSG Landers) and tasted the joy of winning his first personal monthly MVP award.

During this period, the team also drew an upward curve. Lotte’s April team performance was 24 matches, 14 wins, 1 draw, 9 losses, winning rate of 0.609 (2nd place), and also ranked high in key team batting indicators such as team batting average (0.265, 1st place) and home runs (16, tied for 2nd place) It is Lotte who raised .

The uptrend didn’t last long. Han Dong-hee’s May performance was a batting average of 0.221 (15 hits in 68 bats), 1 home run, and 4 RBIs. June (0.271 batting average, 1 home run, 11 RBIs in 20 games) was also unsatisfactory. It seemed to have succeeded in rebounding in July, but it was not enough to surpass the strong impression it showed in April.

안전놀이터 The team also stagnated after May, and finished the regular season in 8th place in the final standings. It cannot be concluded that one or two people are simply responsible for the team’s sluggish performance, but Han Dong-hee, who was ‘sparkling’ for the month of April, was also heavy-hearted. Han Dong-hee, who achieved double-digit home runs (11) only in the first half, had only three home runs in the second half.

In the sixth season, Han Dong-hee’s shoulders are heavier

. As he committed the most mistakes (19) in a single season, regret was revealed in the defense. Among all infielders in the league, Park Seong-han (SSG, 24) and Park Chan-ho (KIA Tigers, 22) had the third highest number of errors along with Ha Joo-seok (Hanwha Eagles). Narrowing down to third baseman, no player had more errors than Han Dong-hee.

In the long run, Han Dong-hee is one of the players who can continue the genealogy of the third baseman in the national team as well as the team. He also has experience playing in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-23 Baseball World Cup held in 2021.

However, at major international competitions such as the Tokyo Olympics held that year, Han Dong-hee still did not have a chance to play. Han Dong-hee’s name could not be found in the final list of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team announced on the 4th, as well as in the list of 50 people interested in last November.

Still a long way to go. There is no great senior who has been by Han Dong-hee’s side this year. In 2023, which will not be an exaggeration to say that it is the most important period, attention is paid to whether Han Dong-hee, who is expected by fans and clubs, will be able to show a ‘post-Lee Dae-ho’ appearance.

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