Lee Woo-sung (30-KIA Tigers) is having a hot start to the season. In four games, he is 4-for-7 with eight RBIs in 17 at-bats.

After batting 3-for-6 (20 RBI) with one home run in eight exhibition games, he has been a consistent hitter in the regular season.

He joined the Doosan Bears in the second round (15th overall) of the 2013 rookie draft, playing for NC in 2018 and KIA in 2019. He was touted as an outstanding hitting talent from the time he joined the team, but he hasn’t been able to fulfill his potential as he was traded twice.

Last year, Lee surpassed the triple-digit batting average mark for the first time in his career. While he fell short of the 400 plate appearances he was supposed to have (446), he proved that he can hit for power in the first team, hitting .301 with eight home runs in 126 games.

Seeing his hitting continue from last year to this season, Kia manager Lee Bum-ho believes that Lee has stepped up to the next level. Moreover, Lee has been a hitting coach for the KIA for the past two years and has seen Lee’s progress up close.

“I think he definitely knows personally how to hit well,” Lee said, “He was always good, but I think it was hard because he had fewer opportunities in the first team. Now that he’s playing every game as a starter, I think he can continue to perform well enough while playing the kind of baseball he thinks he should be playing.”

In the game against Jamsil Doosan on Sept. 29,

He started as the fifth batter and first baseman and hit a single in his first at-bat, as well as in his third and fourth at-bats. In the sixth inning, his third at-bat, and in the eighth inning, his last at-bat, he hit a run-scoring single, which was followed by a hit by the next batter. With the 4-2 victory, 스포츠토토 Kia extended its winning streak to four games to open the season. It was the first time in nine years since 2015 that Kia had won four straight games to open the season.

After the game, Lee Woo-sung was asked about his recent hitting, saying, “It’s still early in the season. We’ve only played four games, so I’m not sure if it’s good or bad yet to be honest. I’m thinking that I’m lucky in the beginning.”

“I feel like I know how to hit,” Lee said with a wry smile. “Last year, I didn’t even get to bat in regulation. Last year ended the same way. I learned a lot from him during the two years he was my hitting coach. I’m trying to keep what he taught me. I can’t afford to think about the fact that I hit .300 last year.”

Going into this season, Lee Woo-sung was playing first base defense in addition to his traditional outfield position. When Hwang Dae-in suddenly went down with a hamstring injury, Lee was forced to play first base for the time being.

“Coach Park Ki-nam taught me a lot in camp,” Lee said of his first base defense.

In terms of games, my defense is about level one, but I’m grateful that he taught me one-on-one, and when I went out on the field, (Kim) Sun-bin, (Park) Chan-ho, and (Kim) Do-young took good care of me as a beginner.”

“During the regular season with the first team, the ball wasn’t given to me much. If I play a few more games and have more time to catch the ball and make outs, I think my level will improve a little bit in terms of games,” he smiled.

Kia struggled against Dusan last year, going 4-12. The win was the moment when Kia was able to overcome its “Doosan phobia” at the beginning of the season, which made Lee’s one-hit wonder all the more valuable.

“Last year is last year, this is this year, and I’m sure the manager, coaching staff, and power analysts cared a lot about it, but it’s the players who play the game. I don’t think they’re thinking about it (the poor performance against Doosan), they’re just thinking about going out there and winning every day. I think every player feels that way.”

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