Go to contents

Changing Hitting Forms

Posted March. 30, 2002 08:56,   


It is not easy for a player to change one`s form that one has kept for years. It is even more difficult for a top player who has recorded good results.

Lee Jong-Bum (32), Kia`s `baseball genius,` and Lee Seung-Yeop (26), a `home-run king,` are the leading batters of the Korean professional baseball. Returning from Japan, Lee Jong-Bum came back to the Korean league from the second half of the season after taking two months of rest. However, he recorded a batting average of .340, and received a praise, “Still, Lee Jong-Bum.” Lee Seung-Yeop is a slugger who recorded his third time home-run champion in last season with 39 homers.

Having excellent batting senses, they are the batters who can record batting average of .300 and more than 30 homers at any rate. Nevertheless, they gave up `easiness` and choose `risk.` They have tried to change their batting forms. Their reasons are the same, that is, “to play the baseball longer and well.”

Until last season, Lee Jong-Bum leaned his bat too much to the picher`s side before hitting. The bat was almost reached to his right ear. However, since the spring camp, he has been changed his form to straighten the bat vertically.

“Even though I recorded a batting average of .340, I was lucky. It was not a record by properly dealing the pitchers. Especially, I was not able to hit the inside balls. I am getting old and cannot make a batting speed as I did in my best days. Therefore, I need to change my batting form to hit the inside balls.”

Lee Seung-Yeop abandoned his typical `one-leg hitting form` from this season. He said that, “Although I hit many homers with my old batting form, it had too many weak points, including many strikeouts.”

The `one-leg hitting form` is good for the powerful batting because it can concentrate one`s power at one time. But it is a difficult hitting style to control the batting timing for a curve ball. After he changed batting form, many people worried that he might hit less homers than before. But he hit 2 homers in 2002 Major League spring training games as a guest player of the Chicago Cubs and hit homers in three consecutive exhibition games. He is presenting an unchanging hitting power.

Lee Seung-Yeop said, “My new hitting form is not completed. It will take a time to adjust. However, I will keep the new batting style in any case. It is a necessary process to play baseball for a long time.” Lee Seung-Yeop, who wants to play in the Major League two years later, is strongly willing to complete the new batting style before he goes to the U.S.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com