Of all the Lotte Giants’ batters these days, it’s catcher Lee Jung-geun who gets the loudest cheers from fans. Before he steps into the batter’s box, the stands erupt in cheers.
This was the case on April 18 against the Gochuk Kiwoom Heroes. Lee started as the seventh batter and catcher and went 2-for-2 with one hit, one RBI, and one walk.
Lotte fans were excited every time he stepped up to the plate. They cheered him on by chanting his name loudly during his short walk from the bench to home plate.토토사이트
He did his part. He didn’t get a hit, but his focus shone through in his at-bats. In the top of the sixth inning, when the teams were tied 2-2, he hit an outfield sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to give Lotte a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth inning, with Lotte trailing 4-5, he batted leadoff and drew a full-count walk against Kiwoom closer Lim Chang-min, giving the team a chance to keep their last hope alive. Although Lotte lost the game, Lee’s performance was impressive.
Lee is showing off his peak hitting form after hitting a season-ending home run against the league’s top ace, Eric Peddie, against the Sasik NC Dinos on April 2.
He is batting .404 (23-for-57) with one home run, 12 RBIs and a 1.079 OPS in the first half of the season and .500 (16-for-32) with one home run, eight RBIs and a 1.335 OPS in the second half.
That’s quite a turnaround considering he was batting just .175 (67-for-382) in 206 professional games before last year. It’s no exaggeration to say that he has opened his eyes to hitting.
Lotte fans have recently nicknamed him “Buster Bo-geun,” saying his performance is reminiscent of legendary Major League Baseball catcher Buster Posey.
“I think (Buster Bo-geun) is a nickname I don’t deserve,” he laughed after finishing his training session on the 19th against Gochuk Kiwoom, “but I’m grateful to the fans for giving me a nice nickname. I’m grateful to the fans for giving me a good nickname,” he said shyly.
The key to his improved batting performance has been confidence. Until last year, I didn’t have any mental space at the plate, but this year was different. He has become a different batsman, setting his own firm zone and not letting bad pitches get to him.
“Mentally, it’s the biggest change. “Last year, I was following every ball, but this year, I’m focusing on hitting the pitches I want to hit,” he explained.
“After hitting a home run against Pedi, I felt a little more confident,” he said. “My batting has improved, but my position is catcher, so I’m preparing for the game thinking that defense always comes first.”