Veteran coach was also surprised, Lee Jung-hoo’s crazy adaptability

Lee Jung-hoo started as the first center fielder in the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on the 15th (Korea time) and scored one hit and one run in five times at bat.

Lee Jung-hoo confidently swung his bat from the first pitch of his first at bat in the first inning. He swung a four-seam fastball (150 kilometers) from Tampa Bay’s starting pitcher Sean Armstrong to make a hit to the right field. He swung a powerful hit at the speed of 99.4 miles (160 kilometers).

Wilmer Flores stole the second base while striking out, creating a run-scoring opportunity with one out and hitting home when LaMonte Wade Jr. hit a timely hit to the left. He stole his second base and scored his seventh run of the season.

However, he remained silent from the start of the third inning. He hit the batter’s box for the second time with one out and no runner at the top of the third inning. With two balls and one strike, he hit the cutter with his fourth pitch of 84.8 miles (136 kilometers), but he was out due to a straight hit towards center field. He hit 97 miles (156 kilometers) in speed, but failed to penetrate the fielders.

Lee Jung-hoo took the batter’s box at the top of the sixth inning with no outs and a runner on the second base thanks to a double by Tyler Fitzgerald, the first batter. However, he ended up hitting a fly ball to the left field. He hit an 89-mile (143 kilometers) four-seam fastball at the high course with one ball and one strike, but it became a fly ball.

In the top of the seventh inning with two outs and a runner on the first base, Lee hit a 77.5 mile (125 km) sweeper on the third pitch, only to hit a fly ball to center field. In his last at-bat with two outs and a runner on the third base in the top of the ninth inning, Lee hit a 76 mile (122 km) sweeper again, but ended up hitting a fly ball to shortstop.

However, he did his part in defense. In the bottom of the seventh inning with one out and no runner on the ground, he made a diving catch to clean up Randy Arozarena’s sharp hit. He threw himself at the 104.3 mile (168 km) line drive. Taiwanese pitcher Deng Kai-wei extended his arms to applaud Lee. With one out in the eighth inning, he chased Jose Siri’s right-center hit to the end and managed to pull it out. With the speed of 106.1 miles (171 km), he garnered a batting average of 75 percent.

With one hit from five times at bat on the day, Lee recorded six consecutive hits, but his batting average dropped to 242 percent. On the surface, the record could be regrettable. However, a closer look at Lee’s indicators gives him ample room for improvement. The “ ” on Thursday named Lee one of the 10 players who stood out in Statcast figures. cited the ratio of hard hits and swing and miss. As of Tuesday, Lee’s hard hit ratio stood at 54.1 percent and his swing and miss ratio stood at 8.8 percent. Based on the record, said, “When San Francisco signed Lee, the 25-year-old is expected to become the mainstay leadoff by banking on his strong contact and pioneering vision while displaying more than average defense as a center fielder. It was unclear how strong Lee will perform in the Major League, but he has more than 50 percent of hard hits and an average batting speed of 93.4 miles (150.3 kilometers).”

“Lee’s current weighted on-base percentage wOBA (.249) is not good, but given the expected xwOBA (.320), he has been unlucky so far. It implies that luck will come soon,” the media said, predicting Lee’s performance improvement.

Lee’s indicators have declined slightly since the time when the article was published by . His hard hit ratio is 49.1 percent and his swing and miss ratio is 10 percent. His average hitting speed is 92.7 miles (149.2 kilometers). Still, Lee’s statistics are among the top ranks in the Major League. His hard hit ratio is in the top 21 percent, his swing and miss ratio is in the top 1 percent, and his average hitting speed is in the top 12 percent.

As the ratio of ground balls to ground balls is 54.7 percent due to low launch angle (three degrees), good indicators have not been found in the records. The quality of the ball itself is not a problem. Lee Jung-hoo is also looking for a solution on his own.

Coach Bob Melvin seems to have no worries. In an interview with local media including “NBC Sports Bay Area” on Wednesday, he said, “I often said it was amazing how fast Lee Jung-hoo is adjusting. It is almost a shock to see him strike out. As you know, he swings and misses several balls in the previous day’s game. Such things happen a lot in today’s game, but Lee does not. Lee almost makes contact whenever he swings. That is very rare. While playing better pitches, he sometimes encounters a pitcher he does not know. That is why it is worth paying more attention to Lee’s ability.”

“It is very impressive to see Lee Jung-hoo and his teammates communicate with each other in the outfield. I feel like I have been here for quite a while,” he said, praising Lee for his adaptability.

No one thought Lee Jung-hoo would bomb the league right away. But no one expected Lee Jung-hoo to fail to adapt to the league. As always, Lee Jung-hoo is trying to leave a record that everyone deserves by gradually adapting to the new league and new environment.

BY: 토토

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