no more tears ‘Nice’ genius Lee Hyeong-jong (33) is a heroic corps desperately in need of a revival.
Kiwoom Heroes coach Hong Won-ki declared an infinite competition system early in the 2023 season. Director Hong Won-ki’s firm position is that there is no set starter except for some players in the position.
However, along with center line players such as Lee Jeong-hoo, Kim Hye-seong, and Edison Russell, there is a person who has been dropped as a starter. It is outfielder Lee Hyeong-jong, who newly joined Kiwoom as a Futures free agent.
Lee Hyeong-jong, who graduated from Seoul High School and joined the LG Twins as the first designated pitcher in 2008, wore a striped uniform all the way until last year. Then, after the season ended, he joined Kiwoom on the condition of a contract period of 4 years and a total of 2 billion won.
He may have a small contract size by the standards of other teams, but from Kiwoom’s point of view, it is a significant investment. In particular, it is also a special contract in the history of the Heroes franchise, which has preferred to develop key resources through internal competition.
As much as that, Kiwoom desperately needed a player who would occupy a starting position in the outfield along with strengthening his long hitting power, and he judged that the right person was Lee Hyeong-jong.
Lee Hyung-jong, who struggled with injuries for a long time after joining as an actual pitcher, retired and dramatically returned to play, had a period of adaptation in the Futures League after turning to a hitter in the 2015 season. Lee Hyung-jong, who debuted on the first team stage as a hitter in the 2016 season, transformed into a hitter with long hitting power enough to hit double-digit homers for four consecutive years from the 2018 season to the 2021 season. He appeared in 624 KBO League career games as a hitter, collecting 544 hits, 63 home runs, and 254 RBIs with a batting average of 0.281.
That’s why Hyeong-wook Koh, general manager of Kiwoom, also said, “I’m happy to recruit an experienced outfielder. With Lee Hyung-jong joining, we expect not only to create a well-organized batting line, but also to strengthen the outfield defense. I hope that it will be a great help in attack and defense next season.” 스포츠토토
If that happens, Kiwoom’s outfield this season is an immovable main player, and in addition to the system of center fielder Lee Jung-hoo and right fielder Lee Hyeong-jong, veterans Lee Yong-gyu, Kim Jun-wan, Lim Byung-wook, and many young players, including Park Chan-hyuk, Lee Byung-gyu, and Lee Joo-hyung, are fiercely competitive as left fielders and backup members. It is expected to become a competitive environment.
Conversely, if Hyeong-Jong Lee, who will get many chances, does not show a good performance as an outfielder, it also means that there are countless contenders for the position at any time.
Of course, from Kiwoom’s point of view, Lee Hyung-jong hit 17 homers and recorded a slugging rate of 0.547, expecting him to perform more than he did in 2020, when he showed the face of a giant gun. That would be the scenario that Kiwoom wants the most.
Lee Hyeong-jong is also determined to play an active role as a key player who plays more than 125 games every season. Right after joining, Lee Hyeong-jong said, “As general manager Go Hyeong-wook brought me, saying, ‘I want to find a place in the outfield,’ I will try to play more than 500 games for four years.” I will make my body really good.”
He is just as confident about the offensive indicators as he is. Lee Hyeong-jong said, “If he continues to play, he thinks that he will definitely get better as a result.” I think he should play a role so that he can become a player who can hit a single shot in necessary situations rather than greedy for long hits.”
After Hyungjong Lee struggled for a long time due to injuries such as overwork in high school, and after experiencing wandering days such as contemplating conversion to a professional golfer, it took a long time to transform into a Geopo outfielder at LG. Many people say, ‘Those who are good at baseball are good at baseball ‘ also reminded me of a myth.
However, it is also true that Lee Hyung-jong has not been able to fully display his potential and ‘baseball DNA’ as expected due to injuries and lack of opportunities. There should be no more tears now. Will Lee Hyung-jong finally be able to blossom in the second half of his baseball life as a member of the Hero Corps?