“If it doesn’t work, I just have to go back to my old form.”
KBO league top hitter Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom) began the adventure of a lifetime with a major league challenge in mind a year later. He began revising his batting form from individual training at the end of the year, went through individual training in LA in January, and started ‘in-depth learning’ through Kiwoom Spring Camp in February. The WBC in March is the first test stage.
Lee Jung-hoo revealed the change in arm height through an interview at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. He lowered his arm height by integrating changes in major league sluggers and advice from his best friend Ha-seong Kim (San Diego Padres). Until last year, the bat was raised to the ear and hit, but now it is lowered to the chest.
The purpose is to reduce the time until impact to cope with the 160km fastball of major league pitchers. If the past two years have focused on producing long hits to hit 20 home runs, this time the theme is different. If you hit accurately and quickly, you have already proven that you can maintain long hitting power in Korea.
However, this is not the end of Lee Jung-hoo’s form change. Change your stance too. Lee Jung-hoo has been close to an open stance. He was good at attacking the outside because of his excellent contact ability, and he hit with one leg open to deal well with the breaking ball that cut into his body.
However, this season Lee Jung-hoo returns to a square stance. According to hitting coach Kang Byung-shik, a change of stance is also necessary to cope with the fast ball. Coach Kang said, “It is to reduce the width of the bridge that goes back and forth. It is preparation to hit more concisely by reducing the preliminary motion.”
In fact, it is to change the form that won five batting crowns for success in the major leagues. Coach Kang said, “If you adapt well for one year this year, you can go to the major leagues next year and use it right away.” In order to reduce trial and error in the major leagues, he moved a year earlier.
Coach Kang was asked if Lee Jung-hoo’s changed form would settle successfully. He didn’t answer right away. It’s such an adventure. However, coach Kang said, “Even if he maintains his form this year, there is no guarantee that he will win 5 batting titles like last year. It’s because the opposing teams come in after analyzing Jung Hu.” Lee Jung-hoo’s spirit of challenge itself was given a high score.
Coach Kang said, 메이저사이트 “I think I will have time for about a week after the WBC.” The changed form will first be put to the test at the WBC, and Coach Kang plans to carefully check Lee Jung-hoo’s batting. Based on this, he plans to enter Korea and exchange feedback with Lee Jung-hoo until the opening of the pennant race.
On this day, KBS N Sports commentator Park Yong-taek, who visited the site of the Kiwoom spring camp, encouraged Lee Jung-hoo. “If things don’t go well, we can go back to the way we were before. Don’t worry.” Since his existing form was so solid, Lee Jung-hoo was encouraged that there would be no trial and error.
The important thing is that Lee Jung-hoo also prepared a plan B in advance. Coach Kang said, “Even if this form fails, there are things I am preparing for.” It does not return to its former form, but it tries to compromise at the level of reducing the width of change and captures the present and the future at the same time. Lee Jung-hoo’s 2023 year could be another inflection point in his baseball life.