2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) team representative hitter Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes) erases the interest of American professional baseball Major League (MLB) clubs from his head and prepares for the tournament. said he was working on it.
On the 19th (Korean time), after digesting the national team training held at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, USA, Lee Jung-hoo said, “The evaluation and analysis of MLB clubs have already been completed, and (each club scout) observed the response and mental aspect according to the game situation. I was advised to do it,” he said. “I felt comfortable after hearing that story. No matter who comes (to the stadium), I will only focus on my play.”
It is known that the advice was given by big agent Scott Boras, Lee’s agent in the United States.
Lee Jung-hoo is aiming for the WBC main stage with a lighter heart.
After finishing the 2023 season of the KBO League, Lee Jung-hoo plans to enter the MLB with a posting system.
Last month, he signed a contract with Boras Corporation in the United States, formalizing his challenge to enter the United States.
Lee Jung-hoo, who has only dealt with pitchers in the KBO league, plans to prove his skills by facing active MLB pitchers on the WBC stage.
As the WBC stage has become a ‘showcase’ for entering the MLB, Lee Jung-hoo’s burden is bound to increase.
In fact, a total of 9 MLB team scouts gathered in the practice match between the national team and the NC Dinos held at the Keno Sports Complex on the 17th, and Lee Jung-hoo was silent with 2 at-bats.
Lee Jung-hoo drew the line that the sluggish practice game was not a problem of burden.
He said, “MLB scouts will analyze players who want to advance to the US, such as Ko Woo-seok, Jung Woo-young (above LG Twins)스포츠토토, Kang Baek-ho (kt wiz), and Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom), rather than me.” ) I will focus on winning the team without being conscious.”
Lee Jung-hoo also revealed his intention to join the WBC with his recently changed batting form.
Last month, he had training in Los Angeles with personal coach Choi Won-je to adjust his batting form concisely. He increased his swing speed by removing the unnecessary form of hitting.
This is a course to develop the ability to respond to fastballs in preparation for entering the MLB.
When asked, “Have you ever thought about going back to your old form?”, he said, “I haven’t thought about that yet.”
On this day, Lee Jung-hoo also digested training that he did not normally do, such as bunt.
The WBC has a match-up system, so there may be times when anyone has to play a strategy game.
Not only major hitters such as Lee Jung-hoo, but also long hitters such as Park Byung-ho (kt) participated in the bunt training.
Lee Jung-hoo expressed his confidence, saying, “Baseball is a sport where you have to play with a high probability of winning.
He said, “In the chance of (matching) safe second base, I think it would be more advantageous to make a hit between 1st and 2nd base to promote a hit and a true base than to send a runner to 3rd base with a bunt,” he said. “I think I have that ability.” said.
Lee Jung-hoo also revealed his impressions of training with the WBC official ball. The WBC official ball is the same as the MLB official ball, but the surface is more slippery than the KBO League official ball and the height of the seams is lower.
He said, “(Playing in MLB) Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) said that the ball does not fly better than Korea,” he said.
He continued, “I will adapt well as there is still a lot of time left until the start of the tournament.”
When asked about his goal for this tournament, he said, “I really want to come back to the United States.” “To do that, I must win against Australia in the first round of the finals. For now, I will only think about the game against Australia.”
The WBC will be held in Miami, Florida, USA from the quarterfinals. Korea advances to the quarterfinals if it finishes in second place in its group in the first round of the finals, and if it defeats the first or second place team in Group A, it can step on the stage of the semifinals.