Kiwoom Heroes outfielder Lee Jung-hoo is widely considered the best hitter in South Korean baseball today. But why is he working on a swing change and potentially messing with success?

For one, Lee, who will be posted for Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs after the 2023 season, wants to prepare himself against big league pitchers. And two, since this could be his final season in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), Lee wants to win a Korean Series title with the Heroes and leave on a high note. 메이저사이트

It’s a scary proposition for opposing KBO pitchers if Lee, who won the 2022 regular season MVP after leading the league in batting average (.349), hits (193), RBIs (113), on-base percentage (.421) and slugging percentage (.575), can somehow get better.

I am working on a swing change for the first time in my career,” Lee, the 2017 Rookie of the Year, said in a phone conversation with Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday. “I made a few attempts in the past but gave up. This time, I am going all in.”

Though Lee is still a full season away from being eligible for posting, he has already told the Heroes that he’d like to play in the majors next year via posting and the club gave him the green light Monday. Lee has been drawing attention of major league scouts for a couple of years already, if not more, and teams have now been officially put on notice.

Having clearly stated his desire to take his talent to the big show, Lee can now focus on taking the next step on the field.

“I’ve decided to change my swing because I’ve had difficulty against pitchers with a quick delivery or those who take extra time between pitches,” Lee said. “Also, MLB pitchers throw fastballs with a lot of movements. I am trying to keep that in mind.”

In the batter’s box, Lee holds his bat high, with the knob reaching his ear level. He said he wants to simplify his mechanics so that the barrel of the bat doesn’t go back as deep as it does now when he’s ready to swing.

The World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March will be Lee’s first international showcase since going public with his big league dreams, but Lee said he is also worried that the tournament may disrupt his preparation for the new season.

In a typical year, Lee would be working on his new swing through scrimmages and exhibition games in February and March, and that would give him enough time to get his new mechanics ready for the start of the regular season. This time, though, he will be playing competitive games in the early days of March.

But Lee chose to look on the brighter side, saying, “If I play well there with my new swing, then it will mean a whole new opportunity.”

Lee said he also believes his new swing can take the Heroes over the hump and to the pinnacle of the KBO for the first time. Last year, they defied all preseason expectations to reach the Korean Series, where they pushed the regular season champions SSG Landers hard before losing in six games.

“I am also working on a swing change because I want to play better and help the team win a championship this year,” Lee said. “Winning a title with the team absolutely comes first, and MLB comes after that.”

Lee said he is grateful for everything the Heroes have done for him and added he couldn’t have become the player that he is today without them.

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