Perhaps Han Dong-hee (24, Lotte) is a player who is in line with Lotte’s recent moves. Since joining the team, he has been highly anticipated as the “second Lee Dae-ho.” He also showed his potential. However, despite the long wait, its potential has not yet been revealed.
Since his debut in the first team in 2018, his proportion has steadily increased. In 2020, he recorded a batting average of 0.278 and 17 home runs in 135 games, indicating his potential as a slugger. In 2021, his batting average (.267) also fell slightly from the previous year, but he also hit 17 home runs. Last year, he hit .307 in regulation at-bats for the first time. It wasn’t an explosive pace, but he was still moving forward.
He has recorded nearly 20 home runs and a .300 batting average. Naturally, fans’ expectations were the growth of a player who hit “more than 20 home runs” at “300.” The ability was sufficient, and the player was confident. But it didn’t go my way. On the contrary, this year’s grades have regressed. The slump was long. The player’s confidence also dropped. 스포츠토토
As of the 25th, Han Dong-hee played 319 at-bats in 95 games of the season, with a batting average of only 0.219 as of the 25th. As the batting average fell significantly, the home run naturally decreased and the offensive productivity shrank. Han Dong-hee’s adjusted scoring productivity (wRC+), compiled by statistical website Statistics, hit a personal career high of 129.2 last year, but plunged to 60.7 this year. Considering that there are not many games left, it is not easy to finish the season with a dramatic rebound.
If you have high expectations, you will be disappointed. On top of that, the defense was also sluggish, drawing criticism. Although he was not originally a highly regarded player on defense, he showed weakness in throwing this year and recorded 11 errors in 95 games. Analysts say that if unrecorded errors are added, the image of “weak defense” has been added. So, some say, “Han Dong-hee should be turned to first base to maximize his offense.” As it happens, Lotte does not have a suitable first baseman in the long run.
However, Lotte’s acting manager Lee Jong-un has a different opinion. Acting coach Lee is confident that “he is a player who can grow enough even as a third baseman.” “In my view, third baseman is not bad,” acting coach Lee said. “Now that I can’t hit so much, the defense (problems) overlap.” He has enough ability to play third base. He said, “Even if my body is like that, I’m more agile than I thought.”
Basically, as they have the conditions to succeed at third base, one batting rebound and one mood change can lead Han Dong-hee’s “explosion.” “The players are sensitive,” Lee said. It has to do with hitting. If the strike is good, the defense will be more confident, but the defense seems to be shrinking because it is not hitting. “I don’t think it’s bad as a third baseman,” he stressed.
Fielders cannot explain without attack and defense. If the offense is not done, the defense is often dull. In some cases, decisive defensive errors remain as afterimages and affect the offense. Acting coach Lee’s diagnosis is that Han Dong-hee had the worst rhythm of the interaction this year. If so, there is a desperate need for an opportunity to change the atmosphere.
The match against SSG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 24th could serve as an opportunity to lead the upcoming season. Han Dong-hee was placed in the second batting order and recorded two hits in five at-bats. One of the hits was a home run. He was the leadoff hitter in the fifth inning with a 2-1 lead and hit a solo home run over the middle fence against SSG starter Moon Seung-won. It was his fifth home run of the season and his first home run of the second half. The modifiers “5th home run” and “first home run of the second half” may symbolize Han Dong-hee’s tough season.
However, it was a home run that hit well, and it was also a home run that allowed you to feel Han Dong-hee’s unique strength. According to the tally by Trackman, which provides tracking data to nine KBO League clubs, the home run’s batting speed reached 166.7 km per hour. It was also a home run that proved the power of Han Dong-hee, whose hard hits have been gradually increasing recently. He is also picking out balls more persistently than before, and he made all three consecutive hits in Incheon last weekend, creating an opportunity for a rebound.
Han Dong-hee also vowed to do his best until the end of the season, saying after the game, “I felt that the batting timing was good these days, so I felt my condition went up,” adding, “I’m glad that it helped me because it was a meaningful score to hit a home run for the first time in a long time and lead.
There are likely to be various discussions, including military issues, but there is no doubt that Han Dong-hee is still a player included in Lotte’s long-term plan. He is a player who should continue to play an important role in the team. Depending on Han Dong-hee’s next position, the team’s long-term plans may also change. He has a great impact on players. Attention is focusing on whether he will be able to rebound from his performance this season.