Lee Jae-hyun, who received defense from the national shortstop, was also charged with confidence… “He was a role model…”
“I liked it better because someone who was a role model taught me.”
Samsung Lions coach Park Jin-man (47) played an active role as the league’s top shortstop during his active career. He was the first shortstop in KBO League history to hit 150 home runs. In fact, he was more focused on defense than hitting. Coach Park, who kept the center line even in international competitions wearing the Taegeuk mark스포츠토토, boasted a sense of stability enough to earn the nickname ‘National Shortstop’.
After debuting with Hyundai Unicorns, coach Kim finished his career with Samsung and SK Wyverns. In 2016, he started his leadership career as a defensive coach for the first team in SK, and from 2017 he coached players at Samsung. In 2022, while coaching the second team, he took the command of the first team due to the resignation of coach Heo Sam-young, and from this season he will lead the team as a full-time coach.
The players who currently wear the Samsung uniform also grew up watching Park play. The same goes for Lee Jae-hyeon (20), a second-year infielder from Seoul High School. Lee Jae-hyun, whose main position is a shortstop, did not forget coach Park’s appearance during his active career. He said that he still studies by looking up the video. Coach Park also led defensive training, including direct demonstrations, to lead Lee Jae-hyeon’s growth.
Lee Jae-hyun said, “Since I was young, the coach has been my role model. The person who did that directly teaches me baseball. It’s more helpful. In fact, I practiced as you told me, but it’s still not perfect. But if I keep going to the game like now, I’ll be better. I hope I can show you,” he said.
Lee Jae-hyun is expected to be appointed as Samsung’s starting shortstop this season. He is also confirmed for the opening game selection. Lee Jae-hyun was cautious, saying, “Actually, I don’t know what will happen,” but promised to play an active part, saying, “It would be nice if I could play as a starting shortstop.”
His batting ability is also outstanding. He has a long shot. Lee Jae-hyun hit 7 homers in 75 games last season. If he hadn’t been injured, he could have hit more home runs. This year, the goal is a double-digit home run. He set a goal, “I didn’t come out anymore when I was conscious of hitting a home run. I want to show a good performance by consistently playing games. I want to play 100 games as a starting shortstop, but if that happens, I think I can hit more than 10 home runs.”
The command tower also has high expectations for Lee Jae-hyun. Manager Park said, “Lee Jae-hyun has been good since last year’s finish camp. He was evaluated as being a bit hard, so he corrected his posture. Now, he seems to be struggling psychologically when he throws. He continues to inspire confidence. Then he showed improvement again. He is a talented player, so if he continues to play, he believes that psychological things will become easier.”