“You can do 30-30,” cringing at a top prospect transfer, a “good luck” call…there’s no other captain like him

“I just looked at (Lee) and said, ‘You’re very young, you’re a 30-homer, 30-double guy,’ and I told him, ‘I’m going to call the guys on that team (Kid Heroes) and ask them to help me out a little bit more.'”

I can’t think of another captain like him. LG Twins captain Oh Ji-hwan (33) meant it when he let go of top prospect Lee Ju-hyung (22, Kiwoom Heroes). On the morning of the 29th, LG sent pitcher Choi Won-tae (26) to Kiwoom in exchange for pitcher Lee Ju-hyung, pitcher Kim Dong-gyu (19), and a first-round pick in the 2024 rookie draft. It was a trade of the future for the present. LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop was pleased to get a solid card in Choi to add to a domestic starting rotation that was shaky outside of Im Chan-kyu.

Oh came to Jamsil Baseball Stadium early in the morning when he heard the news of the trade, knowing that Lee and Kim would be there to pack their bags. He met Lee at the stadium and said goodbye to him for the last time. He was sad to see his younger brother go, as he had a bright future ahead of him, but he wasn’t worried about moving on to a team with more opportunities.

“I purposely came to the ballpark early to meet Joo Hyung, and I gave him a lot of encouragement, saying that you’re very young and can hit 30-30. I told him that it’s going to be good, and I told him that it’s important now because he’s going to be a free agent like my brother and that’s the end goal. I told him to call the players of that team (Kiwoom) and ask them to help him a little bit more. (Lee) has an older brother in Kiwoom, and (Kim) Hye-sung played for the national team together, so I called them and told them to take care of him. That’s the best I could do,” he said, reflecting on the moment he said goodbye to Lee Joo-hyung.

“I think this is the reality of being a professional. Even if I’m the coach, it’s right to use players who are good when you look at it coldly. I think the club paved the way for me to get my chance. I don’t know now, but maybe he’ll be a major leaguer later, you never know. When I was younger, I saw (Kang) Jung-ho’s brother, who went to the United States, and (Kim) Ha-sung went to the major leagues, so I think he can go to the major leagues because he can be the culture of the team,” he added, looking forward to seeing Lee Joo-hyung grow into a much bigger player.

Lee Ju-hyung has been considered a top prospect since he graduated from Gyeongnam High School and was selected by LG with the 13th pick in the second round of the 2020 rookie draft. The 22-year-old military infielder, who resolved his military issues ahead of this season, is on his way to blossoming.

His hitting talent is undeniable. In 31 games in the Futures League this year, he batted .323 (30-for-93) with three home runs and 18 RBIs. With a .559 on-base percentage, he has the ability to hit for the bigs. Now he just needs to prove it with the first team. While 30 home runs and 30 doubles may seem like a long way off, Oh believes the junior will have plenty of opportunities to develop quickly in the organization.

“I’m only on one team, so I don’t know what they’re thinking. This trade is a win for the team, and it’s a place where the younger guys in the color of Kiwoom can get a chance. It makes me cry a little bit when I think about (Lee) Joo-hyung and (Kim) Dong-gyu, but I think it will be more helpful for their future.”

Oh and Lee are 11 years apart in age. Even among teammates, it’s not common for a senior to be so concerned about a junior being traded more than a decade apart. It shows the responsibility of a captain.안전놀이터

“My strengths are my hitting and my (fast) feet,” said Lee, who joined Kiwoom. “No matter how many chances I get, it’s up to me to take them. I will make the most of my chances and gradually establish myself through my play,” he said. Lee Joo-hyung is hoping to become a player who can join the 30-30 club and become one of Kiwoom’s trade success stories. Lee Joo-hyung started his new career on the 29th against the Gocheok Samsung Lions, recording his first hit for the club.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *