“Better than me when I was 20” praise from national shortstop… High school senior Lee Jae-hyun is ‘growing by storm’

High school shortstop hits double-digit home runs two years after debut. He is following in the footsteps of the ‘national shortstop’.안전놀이터

Samsung Lions’ Lee Jae-hyun is one of the top prospects among Dongnai University infielders. He cracked the first-team shortstop in his rookie year, and his offensive skills are beyond his years.

He’s been fortunate enough to be coached by Samsung’s Park Jin-man, who is considered the best shortstop in KBO history and has won six Korean Series titles with the Hyundai Unicorns and Samsung.

He was also infamous for his hard-hitting pitches, throwing just enough to get an out. Despite not being a fast-footed player, he used his strong shoulders and clever shifting to get into the correct defensive position and throw to first base quickly if the runner was fast, or more slowly if the runner was slow, to get the out at a similar time.

“I heard a lot of complaints, ‘Why do you always throw so close,'” Park laughed when we met on May 5. “I’ve gotten a lot of complaints from people saying, ‘Why do you always throw it so thin?'” he said.

“He’s only in his second year of high school, but he’s gotten a lot better. It’s not easy to be so stable. It’s much better than when I was in my second year. At that time, I didn’t show a seasoned defense like Lee Jae-hyun,” he praised. “This year, she’s playing a lot of matches, so there’s some physical pressure on her, but she’s handling it well. He is continuing to build a good career.”

“I’ve always trained like hell with coach Kim Jae-bak. It gave me confidence in my defense. Lee Jae-hyun also worked hard on his defense during the camp. Now I just need to accumulate more data on the opponent’s focus and hitting style. If it’s a fast hitter, I have to catch it with my backhand and throw it with more force, and I need to be able to do that naturally. I need to work on those details.”

Park concluded, “You can do anything if you try. The more you play defense, the more confident you become. Lee Jae-hyun still has a lot of room to grow.”

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