‘WBC official ball experience X’ Lee Jeong-hoo, chose Kim Ha-seong’s advice over Puig

Lee Jeong-hoo (24, Kiwoom), who has yet to experience the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) official ball, sought advice from former colleagues Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego) and Yasiel Puig (33, FA). What is Lee Jung-hoo’s choice? It was Kim Ha-seong.

On the 19th (Korean time), after completing the national team training at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, USA, Lee Jung-hoo said, “I have yet to play the official ball except for practice batting. But again, Puig says that the Korean (KBO) official ball doesn’t fly any more. The words are different, so I guess I’ll have to try it myself to find out.”

The WBC official ball is the same as the ball actually used in the American Major League (ML). Major league official ball is relatively slippery than the ball used in the KBO because the stitches do not stand out. Because of that, mud work is carried out to smear the ball, and even then, when throwing some pitches such as sliders and curveballs, the ball may fall out, so pitchers must adapt.

Adaptation is necessary for batters as well. As the surface friction of the ball is different, the repelling force is also different, so batters have no choice but to try a lot. Both Kim Ha-seong and Puig, whom Lee Jung-hoo asked for advice, played in the major leagues and experienced the WBC official ball. But out of the two, Ha-seong Kim was chosen. The reason was that he was the most recently run player. Ha-seong Kim has been playing for San Diego since the 2021 season, while Puig has no big league experience since 2019.

Lee Jung-hoo said, “(Kim) Ha-seong is a player who played in the major leagues until recently,” and gave weight to Kim Ha-sung’s advice, but did not pay much attention, saying, “But I honestly don’t think I am a hitter who is affected by the official ball.”

The major league scouts who gathered to see him in the first practice game between the national team and NC on the 17th were not interested in confronting major league pitchers. It focused exclusively on his first match against Australia, which will be held on 9 March안전놀이터.

Lee Jung-hoo said, “I’ve heard a lot that the evaluation of me is over. I’m only thinking about the team’s victory, and I think they’re here to do their job.” I think of it as a showcase for my friends and younger siblings, such as Lee, (Kang) Baekho, and (Kim) Hyesung. When I think that way, I don’t really feel that way, and I just want to win the game quickly.”

“The biggest goal of this tournament is to go to the United States (advance to the semifinals). The closest thing is to beat Australia unconditionally. If I miss that game, the next match is against Japan, so I only think about the match against Australia.” “In fact, there is no guarantee that you will hit the ball of major league pitchers except in Japan (where the first and second rounds of the finals are held). In Japan, there is no guarantee except for Darvish. All I can think about is that I have to hit the ball quickly and well with Australian pitchers,” he emphasized.

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