Lee Jung-hoon started at third base and designated hitter on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. against the Kiwoom Heroes in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea, going 3-for-4 with a double, two walks, one RBI and two runs scored. Lee’s batting average jumped from .429 to .462 (18 for 39) this season. Lee’s bat helped Lotte to a 12-8 victory over Kiwoom.

Lee’s bat was on fire from the first inning. With the score tied at 0-0 in the top of the first inning, Lee took a forked ball from Kiwoom’s right-handed starter Chung Chan-heon and smashed a clean hit that landed in front of the left field fence. It was an impressive hit. He was unable to score due to a missed follow-up hit.

In his second at-bat, Lee showed his power. With runners on second and third in the top of the second inning, down 2-3, Lee took advantage of a defensive shift to hit a single that landed in front of the center fielder to tie the game. He then scored when Yoon Dong-hee singled up the middle.

Lee didn’t let up. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 5-4, Lee took a two-seam fastball up the middle from Jung Chan-heon and smashed a two-run double to perfect left-center field. Although the run didn’t score, it showed off Lee’s long ball power.

Lee also showed off some great initiative. In the top of the sixth inning with an 8-6 lead, he drew a walk against Kiwoom right-handed pitcher Lee Myung-jong. In the top of the eighth inning, he drew another walk to complete his five-hit game. He scored his second run of the game on Ahn Kwon-soo’s push single.

Led by Lee’s performance, Lotte defeated Kiwoom 12-8 and swept the three-game midweek series (2-1).

Lee’s performance in the Lotte batting order is notable. Lee, who was named to the first team roster on March 11, was batting .429 (15-for-35) with a .500 on-base percentage, .543 slugging percentage, and a 1.043 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) before this game. It’s hard to believe that he was just coming up from the second team.

His recent hitting has been even more phenomenal. In the five games leading up to today, Lee has been on fire, batting .714 (10-for-14). He has been able to effectively hit both fastballs and changeups. His ability to put the ball in play with a smooth swing was excellent, and his hitting mechanics were flawless.

His metrics are also excellent. By the 9th, Lee had a WAR (wins above replacement) of 0.52 in just 15 games. His wRC+ (adjusted run production) was a staggering 209, more than double the league average of 100.

In fact, Lee was released by the KIA Tigers after the 2022 season. His hitting talent was recognized, but his catching defense was questionable. That’s when Lotte reached out to him and he joined the Giants this season. Lee has fully realized his potential in a hard-earned opportunity. 메이저놀이터