“It’s like the swing of a player who’s been growing up in the U.S. since he was a kid.”
The Lotte Giants faltered in June, going 5-11, and their frightening run through May came to a screeching halt. They are now 5.5 games behind the first-place LG Twins and two games behind the fifth-place Doosan Bears. Although they snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-2 win over the SSG Landers on May 18, the mood is still not good.
However, the struggling June hasn’t been without its benefits. Second-year outfielder Yoon Dong-hee has been showing signs of growth and energizing the batting lineup.
Yoon hit a grand slam in her professional debut against Daegu Samsung Electronics on June 11, followed by a two-game homerun streak against Sasik Hanwha on June 13. He hit a grand slam in front of Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and the baseball team’s owner in Busan to help his team win. Against SSG on the 18th, he showed off his batting prowess, going 3-for-5 with one home run, one RBI, and one run scored.
On the season, he is batting .298 (36-for-121) in 38 games. His low on-base percentage (.318) needs work, but given that he’s only 20 years old, it’s more about the cool swing that he’s able to turn on a dime.
Lotte manager Larry Sutton is also impressed with Yoon’s progress. He calls her “a hitter who always shows a mature approach,” and defines her swing as “American-style.
Sutton is no stranger to Korean baseball culture, having played 252 games in the major leagues as an active player, as well as for the Hyundai Unicorns in 2005-2006 and the KIA Tigers in 2007. In the 2005 season, he became the first foreign left fielder to hit 35 home runs.
Sutton seemed to be intrigued by Yoon’s swing and development. He believes that Yoon is doing a good enough job for now, but there is a lot more to come.
His home run against Moon Dong-joo in the Hanwha game on the 13th is a prime example. Yoon took a 149-kilometer fastball from Moon and smashed it over the fence. Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho admitted the next day, “It was a difficult pitch, and all I can say is that she hit it well.”
“If you look at her swing trajectory, it’s a little bit like an American player,” Sutton said. “It’s not a matter of what’s right or wrong. “It’s not a matter of what’s right or wrong, but the trajectory of Yoon’s swing is not what you see in the average Korean hitter. It resembles the swing trajectory of a player who has been playing and growing up in the United States since he was a child.”스포츠토토
“Korean hitters usually focus on hitting the ball in the center of the bat, but Yoon’s swing is more inside the body, so he can hit balls deep in the body. It’s not easy for players with normal mechanics to do this.”