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Not worth spending a year on… Re-challenge by Korean-Japanese outfielders, fierce competition to become the leader of the Lotte assault team

 A year is a time of challenge. Ahn Kwon-soo (30), a Korean-Japanese outfielder for the Lotte Giants, is trying to become a sure starter in a season that could be his last in Korea. Lotte’s ‘assault leader’ competition is also getting fiercer.

Ahn Kwon-soo started as center fielder in the exhibition game against Samsung held at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on the 20th, and scored 4 hits and 1 point in 4 at-bats. He had a hit to the right in the first inning, a hit to the middle in the third, a hit to the left in the fifth, and a hit to the right in the seventh. He showed an ideal batting appearance, such that the hitting direction itself was evenly formed in all four at-bats. As a result, Ahn Kwon-soo’s batting average in the demonstration game rose sharply to 60.92 (9 hits in 13 at-bats). A record of 3 runs and 2 RBIs. 

Ahn Kwon-soo wore a new Lotte uniform this year. Ahn Kwon-soo, who wore a Doosan uniform with the 99th rank in the 2nd 10th round of the 2020 rookie draft. Ahn Kwon-soo is a Korean-Japanese who graduated from the prestigious Waseda University in Japan and has a history of playing in an independent league. Then, in order to start a career as a player in his grandfather’s country, Korea, he crossed the Korea Strait and participated in the rookie draft. 

He played an active role in Doosan for three years and seemed to be settling in last year, briefly occupying a spot in the Doosan outfield. Last year he posted a batting average of 2.9 7 Lee (71-for-239), 20 RBI, 43 runs scored and an OPS of .711. However, the issue of military service caught up with him. According to the Military Service Act, Ahn Kwon-soo had only one year to continue his active duty life in Korea. Ahn Kwon-soo was removed from the reserve list under an agreement with Doosan, and Ahn Kwon-soo was preparing to return to Japan. However, Lotte caught Ahn Kwon-soo again, and Ahn Kwon-soo also chose to try again at Lotte.

The time allowed for Ahn Kwon-soo may be up to one year. But Ahn Kwon-soo is prepared to burn his soul in what could be his last year. During the spring camp, which was a series of hard training, Lotte players were able to laugh for a while thanks to Ahn Kwon-soo’s fighting spirit. Ahn Kwon-soo was a new atmosphere maker at Lotte. That’s how quickly he melted into the team, and the existing players also accepted Ahn Kwon-soo without prejudice.

Of course, Lotte did not recruit Ahn Kwon-soo as a ‘cheerleader’. Because he had faith in Ahn Kwon-soo’s skills, he took the risk and recruited him. Club officials who watched the spring camp showed their expectations for Ahn Kwon-soo this year. 

It is not an exhibition game,안전놀이터 but regular season activity should continue, but from the standpoint of Ahn Kwon-soo, he cannot slow down because he has to compete. He is competing for the leadoff and center fielder spot with Hwang Seong-bin, last year’s hit product of Lotte, who he stuck with throughout the camp. Hwang Seong-bin also left a record of 4 points and 4 steals in 7 games batting average (7 hits in 17 at-bats). He is more active in the ground because of the sense of hitting that is comparable to that of Ahn Kwon-soo. In other words, the competition for the ‘assault leader’ is fierce.

The exhibition game Lotte is at the bottom. However, the heated competition is raising new expectations.


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