How will Lotte raise ‘Little Lee Jung-hoo’… ‘1st group experience vs 2nd group hardening’
The potential is fully confirmed. He must soon choose a growth method to create a ‘Lotte version of Lee Jung-hoo’.
Lotte Giants rookie Kim Min-seok (19), a rookie in the first round of this year’s draft, has been dispatched to Australian professional baseball Geelong Korea to experience the professional level before he is officially drafted.
Geelong Korea, which consists mainly of prospects from 1.5 to 2 teams who have not yet settled in the first team, is at the bottom of the 4 teams in the Southwest Division of Australian Professional Baseball with a record of 11 wins and 19 losses. Kim Min-seok, who has yet to take off his high school student tee in a tough league, is struggling.
In 18 games, he recorded a batting average of .242 (15 hits in 62 at-bats), 1 home run, 1 RBI, 9 runs, 15 strikeouts and 4 walks, OPS .611. He can’t be said to be an impressive record, but he is showing his own competitiveness in a league that is one level higher than the amateur stage.
Kim Min-seok, who conquered the high school stage at Whimoon High School, showed off his outstanding talent to the point of being called ‘Little Lee Jung-hoo’. And he fully confirmed his batting talent in Australia, where he produced a solid hit with a soft swing. Due to the nature of the Australian league, where the strike zone is not constant, there is room for evaluation after returning to Korea. Power can also improve with proper training in the pros.
The key is where Kim Min-seok settles down and how he develops. Even in his high school years, question marks followed his defensive prowess compared to his stellar batting ability. He came out as a shortstop, but he was evaluated as a second baseman or an outfielder. As a shortstop, if he can verify his defensive ability, he can be assigned the next shortstop position, but the dominant evaluation is that he does not have that level of defensive ability.
Lotte is also struggling with Kim Min-seok’s position. So, while playing for Geelong, he tried to figure out which position was right for him. Currently, he played 11 games (8 starts) 64⅔ innings as first baseman, 7 games (6 starts) 49⅓ innings as second baseman, 3 games (2 starts) 18 innings as third baseman, and 1 game 2 innings as center fielder.
Currently, he has played a lot as a first baseman, but if he settles down as a second baseman, it would be great. You can prepare for the generation after An Chi Hong. If you convert to an outfielder like Lee Jung-hoo, you can form a variety of competitive landscapes. In the end, Kim Min-seok’s establishment of a defensive position is important for growth. 스포츠토토
Having already experienced the Australian league, I gained enough growth points. Lotte then has to choose how to foster Kim Min-seok. It is whether he builds up more experience while competing with seniors in the 1st team, or develops from the difference by polishing weight training, basic physical strength, basic skills, and defense in the 2nd team.
How was the first round? In 2020, Choi Jun-yong, a rookie, started with the 2nd group and steadily grew and quickly established himself as a pilseungjo in the 1st group. On the other hand, pitcher Kim Jin-wook in 2021 and outfielder Jo Se-jin in 2022 received opportunities from the first group, but failed to show clear results.
The growth of Kim Min-seok, a talent Lotte selected unexpectedly, is directly related to the future of the team. How he filled that first button became important.