Kiwoom Heroes’ Lee Joo-hyung (22) saved his team from the brink with a dramatic come-from-behind home run.

Lee Ju-hyung started in center field in the No. 7 spot in the lineup against the Lotte Giants in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 18, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, three RBIs, one run scored, and one walk. He hit a come-from-behind three-run homer in the eighth inning to give Kiwoom a 5-4 victory.

Lee, who joined Kiwoom via trade on March 29, is batting 3-for-2 with 28 runs (85 RBI), three home runs, 14 RBI and a .909 OPS in 36 games. In the game, he hit a 147-kilometer-per-hour fastball from Lotte reliever Han Hyun-hee with runners on first and second in the bottom of the eighth inning with Kiwoom trailing 2-4 for a game-winning three-run homer.

Lee said, “I tried to hit it in front of the strike zone. The ball felt good on the pitch I was aiming for and it led to a good result. I was nervous about it going over, but it went over,” he said, reflecting on his home run.

When asked about his good performance since joining Kiwoom, Lee Joo-hyung said, “I think I had a lot of opportunities at LG. There were a lot of good players, so I couldn’t help it. Even now, there are many good players in the second team. I’m grateful to Kiwoom because they didn’t stop playing for me. The coaches also see the season as a long one and encourage me to keep doing what I’m doing,” he said.

“I’m learning a lot of plays as I go out there every day without losing sight of what I have,” said Lee, who added, “I’ve been striking out a lot lately with my changeup, but hitting coach Oh Yoon pointed out to me that I wasn’t following the ball and swinging because I was worried about striking out. So I tried to hit only pitches that were in my strike zone, thinking I was swinging without following the ball as much as possible. Now I only react to pitches that are in my zone and don’t react to pitches that are not. I am grateful to my coach,” he said, revealing the secret behind his recent performance.

Once a promising prospect at LG, Lee Joo-hyung is now being touted as the “post-Ijung-hoo” at Kiwoom. Many people say that his swing and feel for hitting home runs are similar to Lee Jeong-hoo. Lee said, “First of all, both me and (Lee) Jung-hoo are right-handed batters. And since we are similar in terms of the players we watch and learn from, I think the things that are important to me will be similar to Jung Hui-hyung. I don’t know when I’ll be able to meet him, but if I do, I want to ask him a lot of questions. Right now, I’m learning a lot from Ronnie Dawson and (Kim) Hye-sung-hyung,” he said, explaining why he and Lee have similar hitting styles.

Lee, who said he considered Lee to be a role model even before he came to Kiwoom, said he watches and learns a lot from Japanese players such as Yuki Yanagita (SoftBank) and Masataka Yoshida (Boston). Lee Jung-hoo has also frequently mentioned that he has been referring to Yanagita’s batting form for a long time. Yanagita is known for his full-swinging batting style that helped lead Lee Dae-ho and SoftBank in their heyday. “I thought Japanese baseball was closer to Korean baseball than the major leagues, and the players’ body types were more similar to Japanese players, so I thought it would be more suitable for me,” Lee said.토토사이트

As he continues to grow as Kiwoom’s signature hitter, fans are looking forward to seeing what kind of experience he will gain and how he will grow in the rest of the season.

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