Lee Hak-joo and Park Seung-wook, who became clear in 2023… Will Lotte be the key to completing the ‘big picture’?

Attention is focusing on whether Lee Hak-joo (33) and Park Seung-wook (31) will live up to the expectations of the Lotte Giants, who have given them a stronger motivation.

In the Lotte infield in the 2023 season, it is highly likely that starting second baseman An Chi-hong and Noh Jin-hyuk, who were recruited as free agents (FA), will form a keystone combination. Noh Jin-hyeok could play third base, but he wants to show his worth again as a shortstop. These two have different aspirations than in previous years. It is expected that the fact that it is the first year of transfer for Roh Jin-hyeok and the fact that An Chi-hong is about to reacquire free agency will have a significant impact.

It is true that Ahn Chi-hong and Noh Jin-hyuk have priority in each position. However, Lotte’s ultimate goal is to strengthen the player base and level up their skills. This is why the club gave strong motivation to Lee Hak-joo and Park Seung-wook. If these two make the infield tense, Lotte can enjoy a great effect. The appearance of last year, which failed to fully cope with the departure of the main player from a series of injuries, may disappear. Lotte manager Larry Sutton can envision the infield in various ways, such as moving Noh Jin-hyuk to third baseman or using Han Dong-hee and Kim Min-soo in other positions as needed.

It is clear what Lotte expects from Lee Hak-joo and Park Seung-wook this season. Expectations are also revealed in the results of salary negotiations. Lee Hak-joo renewed his contract with an annual salary of 72 million won, up 2.9% from last year’s 70 million won. According to the performance option system, you can receive up to 96 million won if the conditions are met.

The group that Lotte proposed a performance option contract is not all of the players, but key players. We want to catch both rabbits: achieving individual and team goals by having players who have a great influence on team performance run with greater motivation. 바카라

2023 is also an important year for Lee Hak-joo. In January of last year, Lotte handed over pitcher Ha-Neul Choi and the right to pick in the 3rd round of the 2023 rookie draft to the Samsung Lions in order to recruit Lee Hak-joo. Lee Hak-joo was a player who often came to the fore regarding his training attitude during his Samsung days, but Lotte general manager Seong Min-gyu wanted to give him a chance. Director Seong said, “Everyone should have a second chance,” and “(Lee Hak-joo) must show himself as a player. He emphasized that he should not be able to show it in our team.” In response, Lee Hak-joo promised, “I will play baseball more earnestly with the thought that it is the last time.”

Park Seung-wook renewed his contract with an annual salary of 70 million won, up 133.3 percent from last year’s 30 million won. It is right next to Hwang Seong-bin (140%), who recorded the highest annual salary increase rate. He played in 100 games (60 starts) last season and had a batting average of 0.227, an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.590, 1 home run, 16 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Unlike Hak-joo Lee, he also played as a second baseman (134.1 innings), reducing the burden on An Chi-hong (825 innings). In the shortstop position, he defended 419.2 innings and did not cover as many innings as Lee Hak-joo (616 innings) or stand out in detailed defense indicators, but Lotte gave him stronger motivation. It’s Park Seung-wook’s turn to respond.

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