“토토사이트I think my strengths are my aggressive pitching and my ability to handle hitters with ease. “My dream is to become a starting pitcher who can pitch long innings.”
NC Dinos Lee Jun-ho expressed his bold aspirations.
Lee Jun-ho, a graduate of Gyeongnam High School and Sungkyunkwan University, is a right-handed pitcher whose strengths include accurate ball control and stable game management ability. He was selected by NC in the 6th round, 54th overall, in 2023, and in recognition of his potential, he prepared himself at the Arizona Spring Camp during the off-season.
In particular, he had an unforgettable experience on September 9th. He started in the Futures (Second Division) League away game against the Samsung Lions held at Gyeongsan Ball Park and recorded 2 hits, no walks, 5 strikeouts, and no runs in 9 innings, contributing to NC’s 8-0 victory. This was the 68th shutout in Futures League history (since 2010), and was also the second record in NC Futures team history after Lee Jae-hak against Samsung in Masan on August 25, 2012.
Lee Jun-ho, who we met at Changwon NC Park on the 15th, said about the situation at this time, “I’ve been feeling good lately. So I just pitched as usual, but the inning disappeared. Another thing I was conscious of was not to give up a walk, but in the end I didn’t and ended the game. “I’m very satisfied,” he said with a bright smile.
He continued, “I have recently been in the starting rotation for the second team, allowing 1 run in 5 innings in 3 games. He maintained his good ball combination even before Samsung. “So I think the results were good,” he added.
Lee Jun-ho, who had been consistently receiving selection classes in the Futures League since the opening, served as a substitute starter and catcher whenever there was a gap in the NC 1st team pitching staff. However, due to lack of experience, the results were not good. As of the 17th, the first team’s performance was 10 games (19.2 innings), no wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 5.95.
In particular, the match against Gocheok Kiwoom Heroes on July 4th was an unforgettable game for him. At that time, Lee Jun-ho took the mound as a starter and threw 74 balls, but allowed only 5 hits, 3 walks, 4 runs, and 1 earned run in 2.2 innings. As NC ended up losing 4-8, he suffered his second loss of the season.
Lee Jun-ho said, “I can’t forget that time. I had to throw strikes quickly and quickly to compete with the batters, but because I wasn’t hitting well, I couldn’t fight with the batters and was fighting with myself. “So the results were not good,” he said. “If the ball count is unfavorable, it becomes difficult, and if the ball count is advantageous, the results get better.” “Through my experience, I learned how to use the ball count to my advantage and how to compete after that,” he nodded.
Although it was difficult, living in the Futures League made him grow even further. Lee Jun-ho, who has currently appeared in 13 Futures League games (61.2 innings), has 4 wins, 3 losses, and an average ERA of 3.94.
He said, “(Futures Team) Coach Pil-seong Gong and Coach Jeong-wook Son believed in me. Thanks to good guidance, I was able to pitch with confidence. “Thanks to this, I was getting good results,” he said. “My strengths are to lead the batters’ bats quickly, make a hit, take advantage of the ball count, and pitch aggressively, but I wasn’t able to show it at the beginning of the season. I was thinking it was unfortunate, but I think I got a sense of what to do after pitching in many games in the second team. “I think I can throw with confidence,” his eyes twinkled.
NC’s special rookie Shin Young-woo is Lee Jun-ho’s closest colleague. The two players also have something in common: they graduated from Gyeongnam High School. Lee Jun-ho said, “I was closest to (Shin) Young-woo. He is also the same draftee as me. He expressed his closeness by saying, “We eat together and go to cafes during breaks.”
Lee Jun-ho, who consistently performed well in the Futures League, including a shutout win against Samsung on the 9th, was called by NC coach Kang In-kwon on the 14th. Coach Kang said at the time, “Lee Jun-ho will work in long relief. He explained the reason for calling him up, saying, “His recent pitching in the second team was good.”
Lee Jun-ho said, “I try not to think too much on the mound. “I think this is the most important thing,” he said. “I think it led to good results when I threw with confidence, without thinking, in my own rhythm, and as I thought. He said firmly, “Just because he is in the first team, he tries to throw the same way without being conscious of it.”
At the same time, he emphasized, “I came as a starter (in the Futures League), but my current position is to lead many innings,” and “I want to take responsibility for long innings and play a role in giving strength to pitchers and hitters.”
NC currently ranks 3rd with 65 wins, 2 draws, and 53 losses, and is aiming to advance to fall baseball for the first time in three years since 2020 (when it won the combined championship). Lee Jun-ho’s shoulders are not light at all.
He said, “I want to faithfully play my role for the remainder of the season. “I often think that if I work hard and show good performance, I can even stand in the postseason,” he said. “It’s a stage I’ve only dreamed of.” I really want to participate (in postseason games). “If I could throw it, I would try to throw the ball with more confidence,” he said, adding strength to his voice.
Lastly, Lee Jun-ho said, “My strength is aggressive pitching. He has the ability to handle hitters with ease. My dream is to become a starting pitcher who can throw long innings. He also expressed his strong ambition, saying, “I want to maintain a place in the NC starting lineup someday.”