“Good colleagues and competitors” Lotte’s ‘next generation’ of catchers in training, Son Sung-bin to add spark

The Lotte Giants’ next generation of catchers have been improving their skills in recent years, and now they have another opportunity to push each other to improve.

At Lotte Sangdong Baseball Stadium in Gimhae, the current home of the Lotte Futures (second team), the catchers’ performance stands out. Seo Dong-wook (23), who joined the team as a developmental player this year, and Ji Ji-wan (29) and Kang Tae-yul (27), who also played in the first team, are standing out, and they are sharing playing time with each other, creating a synergistic effect of competition.

In the Futures League, Seo leads the way with a .367 batting average and six home runs in 32 games, while Kang Tae-yul (33 games, .277 batting average) and Ji Ji-wan (12 games, .265 batting average) have also shown consistent hitting. Additionally, Jung Jae-hwan (19), who was drafted in the ninth round of this year’s rookie draft with the 83rd overall pick, hasn’t seen as much action as the trio, but he is 5-for-11 with a .455 batting average in 13 games.스포츠토토

“Seo Dong-wook, who has emerged as a new face, is showing good improvement in all areas of the game, and Kang Tae-yul and Ji Ji-wan are also hitting well,” said Kim Pung-chul, Lotte’s deputy director of player development. Ji-wan is a player with a strong bat, and it seems to have inspired Kang Tae-ryul, who is in the middle generation, to train even harder. Jung Jae-hwan is playing less than the other three, but he’s only been with the team for six months, so it’s worth keeping an eye on him.”

LOTTE’s Son Sung-bin. Sports Donga DB

In the meantime, Son Seong-bin (21), the first pick of the 2021 rookie draft, also retired from the Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commercial) on the 12th. He joined the Sajik Stadium on the 13th and has been re-acclimatizing to the team’s training methods with the first team squad. After Lotte signed Yoo Kang-nam as a first-team starter last winter, the addition of another promising youngster, Son Sung-bin, has further heated up the rivalry. “It will be a good stimulus for them to improve,” Kim said, “and even if they don’t say it, they will have the awareness to compete more fiercely.”

Son Sung-bin is also looking forward to competing with the existing catchers. “I felt it again when we played against each other in the commercial team, but there are many good catchers in our team, including (Kang) Tae-ryul,” he said. “They are good seniors and colleagues, but from a different perspective, we have to compete with each other, so I will do my best to keep up with them.”

Lotte has more options. After adding Son to the first team roster on the 15th, Lotte manager Larry Sutton said, “I called him up to the first team because of the type of pitcher we’re facing in the next game,” adding, “The coaches of the first team and the Future Team know all the catchers well. If there is a competitive synergy between them, it will be an opportunity for the players and the team to improve.”


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