“You’ll be better than me.”
Park Min-woo (30⋅NC) entered the program in 2008 and started the six-year cycle of genius hitters. Six years later, in 2014, Lee Jung-hoo (25 Kiwoom) joined the program, and in 2020, Kim Min-seok (19 Lotte) continued the tradition. Living up to the title of genius hitter prospect, all of them were selected highly in the rookie draft. Park Min-woo was drafted 9th overall in the first round of the 2012 rookie draft with one year of paid service. Lee Jung-hoo was the first pick in 2017, and Kim Min-seok was the third overall pick in the first round of the 2023 rookie draft.
The potential, talent, and performance of Kim Min-seok, the youngest player in Lotte and the league as a whole, may vary depending on your point of view, but he has shown a maturity that is hard to find in his first year. It’s not often that talented players come straight from high school to the military like in the past. With the exception of Lee Jung-hoo in 2017 and Kang Baek-ho in 2018, it is difficult for pure rookie hitters to adjust to the first team right away, but Kim Min-seok had high expectations and still managed to land in the first team much sooner than expected. He entered the pros with the moniker “Little Lee Jung-hoo,” and through 70 games in the first half of the season, he’s batting .266 (56-for-215) with two home runs, 24 RBIs, 11 doubles, and a .656 OPS. Less than half a year after making the switch from the infield to the outfield, he’s already showing that he can compete in the outfield.
Lee Jung-hoo is always encouraging and brainwashing Kim Min-seok, saying, “You’re going to do better than me.” Some may see this as excessive “lip service” from Lee, who has been bombing the league since his debut season, won five batting titles last year (batting average, RBI, OBP, slugging percentage), and is preparing to enter the major leagues at the end of the season.
Nevertheless, Lee continues to encourage his juniors who look up to him. Even at the All-Star Friday event held on the 14th, Lee kept Kim Min-seok by his side and took care of him. The rookie was honored to be named one of the top 12 All-Stars in his debut year.
“I was so awkward when I first came to the All-Star Game when I was 20 years old, but I wanted to take care of him because I remember how I was then,” Lee said, “He went to a good school. It’s the best school in Gangnam District 8. It’s not easy to get out of school in Daechi-dong. When I went to train at the school in the winter, I remember the coach praising Min-seok a lot, saying he was a good player. I thought he’d be good later, but it’s strange to be playing in the All-Star game with him,” he said, reflecting on the moment he and Min-seok came together.
“That’s what (Lee) Jung-hoo always says to me, ‘You’re going to be better than me,'” says Kim, but Kim shakes his head, “I don’t think so at all.” Lee Jung-hoo is a senior in “Another Level.
Nevertheless, the comparisons between Lee and Kim would continue throughout their careers. They share many similarities, including the same right-handed bat, the same lanky but flexible build (Lee is 185 cm and 86 kg, Kim is 185 cm and 83 kg), and the same transition from infield to outfield upon entering the professional ranks.토스카지노
It may not be easy for Lee to follow in his footsteps. However, since his first year, he has experienced things that are hard to do in the first year, such as being an All-Star and experiencing the cheers and atmosphere on the big stage. Lee Jung-hoo’s indoctrination of Kim Min-seok, the heir apparent to the genius hitter, and the way he is now, shows why Kim Min-seok’s growth graph is bound to continue upward.