The start of the 2022 season of Lotte Giants Han Dong-hee was splendid. After the opening, he swung a fire bat with a batting average of 0.427 (38 hits in 89 at-bats), 7 homers, 22 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.249 in 24 games for the month of April, and won the honor of the first monthly MVP in his debut. He looked like he would completely break the shell of a promising player and become a top-class player in the league beyond Lotte. 스포츠토토
However, in the aftermath of a hamstring injury in early May, his good hitting feeling began to falter. His final performance of the season was 0.307 batting average, 14 homers, 65 RBIs, and OPS 0.817.
Because of this, Han Dong-hee returned the break after the end of the 2022 season. He started preparing for the 2023 season early, sweating all winter, and earlier this month, he went to Guam with his senior teammate Jung Hoon and is digesting his personal training.
Han Dong-hee said, “In 2020, before joining the spring camp with seniors Lee Dae-ho and Jung-hoon, I did individual training in Saipan and got good results, and this year, I am building my body with senior Jung-hoon in Guam.” It’s great. I believe that everything will work out and if I do my best, I believe that I will be able to achieve good results, and I am preparing.”
After failing to advance to the postseason for the past five years, Lotte has undergone a massive reinforcement of power ahead of this season. It is considered a dark horse for the 2023 season as it recruited three outside free agents: catcher Kang-Nam Yoo, infielder Jin-Hyeok Noh, and pitcher Hyun-Hee Han.
However, Han Dong-hee’s role is important for Lotte to advance to the final 5. In a situation where the weight of the center batting line is inevitably reduced due to the retirement of the team’s legend Lee Dae-ho, Han Dong-hee must show the aspect of ‘post-Lee Dae-ho’. Lee Dae-ho also asked Han Dong-hee at his retirement ceremony to ‘become a hero for Lotte fans’.
First of all, Han Dong-hee said, “Every time I hear that I have to become senior Lee Dae-ho’s successor, I feel very honored and think that I must do so. There is no pressure.” I thought a lot that I had to do better so that it wouldn’t happen,” he emphasized.