A senior who has watched his junior more closely than anyone else offered praise and encouragement. Kim Ha-seong, an infielder for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB), sent a message of support to his junior and former teammate, Lee Jung-hoo (Kium).

In his third year in the big leagues, Kim had a breakout season this year, batting .260 with 140 hits in 538 games, 17 home runs, 60 RBIs, and a .749 OPS in 152 games. After struggling through April, he rebounded in May and set career highs early on.

By mid-August, his pace had slowed, and he ended the season just shy of the 20-homer, 20-double plateau. However, the impact of his performance on the team was significant, and he received numerous “rave reviews” from American media outlets.

On November 11, Kim returned home through Incheon International Airport’s Terminal 2. Dreaming of even better results, Kim will rest in Korea for the time being and prepare for the 2024 season by fulfilling the schedule he has prepared in advance.

The most popular question at the homecoming ceremony was about Lee Jung-hoo. Drafted by Nexen (now Kiwoom) with the 29th pick in the second round of the 2014 KBO Rookie Draft, Kim Ha-seong and “2017 first-round pick” Lee Jung-hoo spent four years with the same team.

Their presence on the national team was also notable. Together, they helped the team to the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and the 2019 World Baseball Classic (WBC), and it was widely expected that Lee would follow in Kim’s footsteps and try his hand at the major leagues.

After Kim’s departure to the United States, Lee continued to play for his club and national team, and last year, he made his presence felt by hitting 20 home runs in his debut season, and in early January, he received permission from his club to try out for the major leagues after the regular season ended. Although he was diagnosed with a damaged left ankle extensor ligament (the membrane that wraps around ankle tendons) during an away game against Lotte on July 22, big league teams were still interested in him.

Local media outlets in the U.S. also began to follow Lee’s progress, with the New York Yankees and San Diego among the teams that would consider signing him. In the case of the San Francisco Giants, a division rival of San Diego, several clubs have already shown interest in Lee, including general manager Pete Putilla, who visited the Gocheok Sky Dome on the 10th, where the Samsung-Keum game was held. It is expected that clubs will move in earnest once the major league postseason ends.

As someone who has experienced the major league stage, what does Kim think about Lee’s challenge? “Actually, I don’t have any advice for (Lee) Jung-hoo. I think he’s a very complete hitter, so I think if he watches a lot of major league pitchers’ pitches from spring training and adapts to them, he’ll have a good result.”메이저사이트

Kim Ha-seong also said, “Jung-hoo is a player who can hit, play defense, and run the bases. That’s his strength, and even if he competes with enough overseas players, he won’t be pushed back.” “I hope he goes to a place where he is good at and shows good form,” Kim said, wishing him success before heading to the United States.

However, Kim, who has seen and learned a lot from the ups and downs of 2021 and last year, emphasized that the big leagues are not for the faint of heart. “I’m going to tell him enough about what I felt, and I’m going to tell him to prepare well because (the MLB) is not an easy place,” he said.

“I didn’t perform well in my first season in the MLB, and I was young when I went to the United States. I was paid a lot of money, but because I didn’t perform well, I thought, ‘Maybe the juniors who dream of the major leagues in the future will be adversely affected,’ so I thought I had to do better, and I hope that many Korean players have big goals and dream of the major leagues from a young age and work hard.” He also gave advice to younger players.

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