2023 painstakingly prepared. Who will be in charge of the ‘assault captain’ of the Lotte Giants?
The lead-off fight from Busan is a step-by-step approach. They run without hesitation and even their styles are similar.
Hwang Seong-bin (26) and Ahn Kwon-soo (30) started as the first hitter left fielder and the ninth hitter center fielder in an exhibition game against SSG Landers held at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 16th, showing off their fierce hitting feeling by hitting three hits side by side.안전놀이터
Seongbin Hwang is Lotte’s Cinderella in 2022. Prior to the season, it was not noticed. His passionate play caught the attention of Lotte manager Larry Sutton. With a call-up in May, he took a spot in the outfield, and was nominated for the Rookie of the Year award with a batting average of .294 (94 hits in 320 at-bats) and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.707. The sight of him sprinting to first base in each at-bat was enough to captivate fans.
To make up for the lack of experience, he underwent rigorous defensive training with coaches Kim Pyeong-ho and Jeon Jun-ho last winter. There was no runner, but he also focused on supplementing the success rate of stealing (10, 45.5%), which was too low compared to the main force. In 2023, the outfield seemed to be composed of right fielder Koh Seung-min, center fielder Hwang Seong-bin, and left fielder Jack Rex.
However, a variable appeared. Ahn Kwon-soo, who was released from the Doosan Bears, wore a Lotte uniform.
Ahn Kwon-soo, a Korean-Japanese, will have to serve in the military if he plays in the KBO league until next year. He already has a wife and son, and he only has one year left to live in Korea. Therefore, Doosan sent him to give other prospects a chance.
On the other hand, Lotte is the year 2023, when free agents Yoo Gang-nam, Noh Jin-hyuk, and Han Hyun-hee were recruited one after another, and veteran release players were gathered and declared’Win Now’. There was no reason to refuse Ahn Kwon-soo.
Ahn Kwon-soo’s performance last year was similar to that of Hwang Seong-bin. He had a batting average of 2.9 0.71 (71 hits in 239 at-bats) with an OPS of 0.712. In Doosan, he mainly played corner outfielders, but in Lotte, he is classified as a center fielder. In particular, Ahn Kwon-soo is slightly better in defense and shoulders.
Seongbin Hwang is the owner of eyes that attract people. His desperate play as much as his desperate Hari supports its charm. He has a bright smile, bright personality, and passion to claim himself as the cheerleader of Dougout.
Ahn Kwon-soo also approached with a pleasant smile as soon as he put on the Lotte uniform, regardless of whether he was senior or junior. Coach Sutton also praised him, “He has good energy. Training attitude, passion, and concentration are all helpful to our team’s identity (championship culture).”
In this match, both players performed hard to distinguish superiority and inferiority. Hwang Seong-bin went on base with a hit in the first at-bat, and withdrew with a hit in the 3rd and 5th innings. However, after going to base with an infield hit on the shortstop side in the 7th inning, he stole second and third bases in succession, showing off his “this year is different” aspect. He also hit left-handed in the ninth inning, aiming for a comeback.
Ahn Kwon-soo also got a hit in the first at-bat in the third inning, and in the fifth inning, he hit an important timely hit to catch up with 2nd and 1st and 2nd bases. In the ninth inning, he also had a hit and made the bases full with Hwang Seong-bin.
In the center field battle, Ahn Kwon-soo is one step ahead. In the demonstration game, Hwang Seong-bin only played left field. Along with Ahn Kwon-soo, Yoon Dong-hee and Kim Min-seok have been appointed as center fielders.
However, the 1st team entry is fixed. The demonstration game is just a test, and no one knows how the situation will change in the regular season. The competition in good faith between the two ‘Sweak Sweepers’ is heating up the Sajik Stadium.