Han Dong-hee (24, Lotte) is perhaps the player who is most in tune with Lotte’s seemingly unstoppable recent run. From the time she joined the team, she was highly anticipated as the next Lee Dae-ho. His potential has certainly been shown. However, after a long wait, his potential has yet to be realized.
After making his debut in the first team in 2018, he steadily increased his role. In 2020, he hit .278 with 17 home runs in 135 games, showing flashes of his potential as a power hitter. In 2021, his batting average (.267) dropped slightly from the previous year, but he still hit 17 home runs. Last year, for the first time, he tripled in regulation (.307). It wasn’t an explosive pace, but he was still moving forward.
He’s hit close to 20 home runs before, and he’s hit triples before. Naturally, the expectations of fans were for him to become a “triple” and “20+ home run” player. The ability was there, and the player was confident. But it didn’t happen. In fact, his performance regressed this year. The slump was long. Her confidence dropped.
As of May 25, Han is batting just .219 in 319 at-bats in 95 games this season. As her batting average dropped, so did her home runs and offensive production. His adjusted wRC+ (wRC+), as compiled by statistical specialist Statiz, hit a career-high 129.2 last year, but has plummeted to 60.7 this year. Considering there aren’t many games left, it’s hard to imagine a dramatic rebound to end the season.
With high expectations comes high disappointment. Add to that a lackluster defense, and you’ve got a recipe for criticism. While he’s never been highly regarded for his defense, he’s shown weaknesses this year, making 11 errors in 95 games. If you add up the mistakes that she didn’t record, it added to her image of being a weak defender. As a result, some have suggested that the team should move Han Dong-hee to first base to maximize her offensive potential. It’s also true that Lotte doesn’t have a long-term first baseman.
However, Lee Jong-woon, the acting head coach of Lotte, has a different opinion. He believes that Lee is a player who can grow into a third baseman. “As far as I’m concerned, he’s not bad as a third baseman,” Lee said, “but his defense is a problem because his hitting is so bad right now. He has the ability to play third base. Even with his body like that, he has more quickness than I thought.”
Acting manager Lee Jong-woon believes that Han Dong-hee should ideally be the team’s third baseman in the long run ⓒLotte Giants
Han Dong-hee has been criticized for her defense this year, which is related to her offense ⓒLotte Giants
As Han basically has the conditions to succeed at third base, one batting rebound and one change of mood could lead to an “explosion” from Han Dong-hee. Lee said, “She is sensitive. It’s related to hitting. If she’s hitting well, her defense will be more confident, but if she’s not hitting well, her defense will be a little less confident. I don’t think that’s a bad thing for a third baseman.”
You can’t explain offense and defense separately. When the offense isn’t working, the defense often suffers. The reverse is also true, where a crucial defensive error lingers and affects the offense. Han’s diagnosis is that the rhythm of the interaction has been at its worst this year. The team is in dire need of an opportunity to change that.
The game against SSG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 24th could be that opportunity to turn the season around. Han Dong-hee batted second on the day and went 2-for-5 with a double. One of her hits was a home run. Leading off the fifth inning with a 2-1 lead, Han hit a solo home run over the center field wall off SSG starter Moon Seung-won. It was his fifth home run of the season and first of the second half. The words 카지노 “fifth home run” and “first home run of the second half” may symbolize Han’s rough season.
However, it was a well-hit home run, and it was also a home run that showed the unique power of Han Dong-hee. According to Trackman, which provides tracking data for all nine KBO clubs, the home run reached a speed of 166.7 kilometers per hour. It was also a home run that proved the power of Han Dong-hee, whose hard hits have been increasing in recent years. She has been picking out pitches more consistently than before, and in the three-game series against Incheon last weekend, she had a hit in all three games, sparking a rebound.
After the game, Han Dong-hee said, “My batting timing has been good lately, so I felt like I was in good shape and played well.” “I’m glad that I was able to hit a home run after a long time and score a meaningful run to lead the team’s lead,” she said, vowing to do her best until the end of the season.
While there will be many discussions, including military issues, there is no doubt that Han Dong-hee is still in Lotte’s long-term plans. She will continue to be an important part of the team. Depending on her next position, the team’s long-term plans could change. He has a lot of potential. It will be interesting to see if he can rebound from this season’s performance.