Last spring, it was Lee Sung-kyu (30)’s time to play.
Leadoff center fielder Kim Hyun-jun suddenly broke his fibula. Lee’s presence grew.
During the exhibition season, he filled the No. 1 infield spot vacated by Kim perfectly and emerged as the No. 1 alternative for the two to three months that followed.
In 14 games, he batted 3-for-3 with five home runs, 11 RBIs, and 12 runs scored.
Tied for first in home runs with Noh Si-hwan. He was second in RBIs behind Samsung’s Kim Tae-hoon, and his quick feet made him a perfect scorer.
The opportunity to play came at just the right time, and the talent that had been delayed seemed to be in full bloom.
But perhaps he picked up the pace too quickly, and his hitting cooled off as the regular season approached. By mid-to-late April, he was starting in center field, but he didn’t do much. He didn’t even hit a home run.
Not a solid starter’s position. The substitute appearances began. Impatience began to set in.
April and May passed. I’m 1-for-17 with no home runs. In May, I went to the Futures League.
Slowly, his starting spots dwindled. In June, substitutions became the norm. He went from 16 at-bats in June to seven in July to six in August. It was hard to maintain his batting form.
In September, the last month of the season, things were a little different.
On the 12th, he went 1-for-1 as a substitute against KIA, and on the 14th, he went 1-for-1 with one hit and one walk in two at-bats against KT.
He went 1-for-1 against NC on the 15th, but the next game, against Daegu Lotte on the 17th, was different.
With the score 3-7 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Lee Sung-kyu, who was substituted as a pinch-hitter, pulled a 148-kilometer fastball from Lotte closer Kim Won-joong over the left field fence like a thunderbolt. A spectacular solo shot with a distance of 115 meters. It was his first home run of the season and the first in 1076 days since his first and last double-digit home run in 2020.
With this home run, Lee is now 6-for-3 (.500) in September. It’s a significant uptick despite his sparse playing time. His timing has improved as he’s landing a little quicker on his left leg kick. His strikeout rate has also dropped recently. He’s only struck out once in seven at-bats this month.
Significant changes that may be overlooked by those who have already been disappointed by yet another perennial big league prospect. 메이저사이트
Hanwha’s Noh Si-hwan, who was tied for the team lead in home runs in the exhibition season, is on pace for a 30-homer season. Meanwhile, Lee Sung-kyu, who was tied for the team lead in home runs, finally hit his first home run of the season after 93 games.
Polarizing results. But maybe it’s just the difference in starting points. It’s a shame it’s the end of the season, but Geoffo has too much potential to lose hope. Here’s hoping for a new right-handed slugger.