Lee Dae-ho (41), who retired at the end of the 2022 season, did not let go of his affection for Han Dong-hee (23), his junior at Gyeongnam High School and Lotte junior, until the last moment. Lee Dae-ho expressed his anticipation for Han Dong-hee in a letter he sent to Han Dong-hee at his home retirement game at Sajik Stadium, saying, “Nephew Dong-hee, your uncle is leaving, but please be a hero for Lotte fans.”
Han Dong-hee established his position in the team early on as ‘Lotte’s number 4 hitter’ to fill Lee Dae-ho’s vacancy. In 129 games last season, his 5th year as a professional, he set a batting average of 0.307, 140 hits, 14 homers, 65 RBIs, and an OPS (slugging percentage + on-base percentage) of 0.817. It is the first time since his professional debut in 2018 that he has hit a batting average of 0.300 or higher after filling the required at-bats. His three consecutive seasons of double-digit home runs (17 in 2020 and 17 in 2021) was also a great achievement for Han Dong-hee.
Han Dong-hee signed a contract with the club this year for a ‘performance option’ according to the season’s performance. Han Dong-hee, who received 172 million won last year, agreed with Lotte to receive a fixed annual salary of 192.6 million won, up 12% this season. According to the contract, Han Dong-hee can receive up to 266.8 million won if he achieves the number of at-bats and OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) target. Han Dong-hee was offered an annual salary contract with a ‘performance option’ from the club in early January, and signed an annual salary contract before departing for Guam on the 9th of last month.
Han Dong-hee arrived in Guam on the 9th of last month and started training. Han Dong-hee, along with infielder Jeong-hoon (36), lost about 10 kg in weight by practicing catch and batting as well as weight training. Even though the Lotte spring camp was in progress on the 3rd, Han Dong-hee, whom I met at the sports complex, had a different physique from the second half of the season.
Han Dong-hee is concentrating on strengthening defensive power in the early stages of the team’s spring camp. For two days from the first day of official training, Han Dong-hee practiced defense of third base from 9 a.m. at Paseo Baseball Field, the infield fungo training ground. On the morning of the 3rd, Han Dong-hee shed a thick sweat with infielders Park Seung-wook, Han Tae-yang, and Kim Joo-hyun. After finishing morning training, Han Dong-hee went to the sports complex and did his batting training even though most of the club’s training was held.
Han Dong-hee said, “I had a lot of personal regret about the defense last season, so I was thinking of taking a lot of training from the finish camp until now, and the coach thinks the same, so I’m focusing on the defense.” 토토사이트
For Han Dong-hee, this spring camp is the first training that his senior Lee Dae-ho did not join. Han Dong-hee said, “I think there are some things that are a little empty because my seniors shouted “fighting” a lot during spring camp.
Han Dong-hee plans to lose 4 to 5 kg more during this spring camp. He is going to lose weight to make it the weight he was when he won the ‘KBO Player of the Month Award’ in the first month of the opening season last year. Han Dong-hee expressed his will, saying, “I wanted to continue the flow of my skills and condition from last April, but it was unfortunate that the flow was cut off because of an injury.” “I want to continue my good skills without injury this season.” He also set a distinct goal of ‘season 30 home run’.
Han Dong-hee said, “While talking with general manager Seong Min-gyu, I thought that if I made an option, I would definitely become a better player and the team would get good results.”