Go to contents

Lee Seung-yeop Fanned on Purpose or Because of His Inability?

Lee Seung-yeop Fanned on Purpose or Because of His Inability?

Posted March. 15, 2004 22:44,   


Eight hits in 30 at-bats (0.267) and 14 strike outs.

This is the batting result of Lee Seung-yeop who has played in 10 games in the Japanese pro baseball league.

Although he hit two homers and knocked in six RBIs, his most noticeable point has been his many strike outs. He has fanned about half of his times at bat. He struck out swinging 13 times out of the 14. He also struck out three straight times (two by Matsuzaka) in the game against Seibu Lions on March 14.

However Lee is not worried about it. He said confidently, “It is good for me. I may have to study more if I strike out. I don’t think that the balls are unhittable.”

Korean correspondents and Japanese reporters proposed a question of “Is he inattentively batting in order to hide his true weaknesses?” in regard to his numerous strike outs. His translator, Lee Dong-hoon said, “I have received that question the most,” adding, “He firmly says that he couldn’t hit the ball because of his inability.”

Although the games were just exhibitions, it’s a matter of concern that he has been borne down by Japanese pitchers. Although Lee keeps saying, “It will be different in the regular season,” Japanese pitchers also will pitch more sharply and faster in the regular season.

An expert of Japanese baseball and the former LG manager, Kim Seong-geon, analyzed that Lee is facing difficulty because of wrong pitch expectations.

Kim pointed out, “Lee watches for the ball after observing a habit or a combination of a pitcher. But he has been confused because he waits for a fastball on a curve ball and an inside pitch when it’s outside. He has to change his batting pattern. He also has to fix it every time.”

Lee also confessed, “I watched for a curve ball at one strike and three balls, but I got a fastball.” He was embarrassed saying, “He pitched three outside, so the next one I expected was inside but it was outside,” about the confrontation against Matsuzaka on March 14. Lee seems to be unfamiliar with the Japanese pitching style.

Kim negatively prospected, “It will be tougher in the regular season.”

Meanwhile, Lee talked big, “I have a long way to go. I will pay back when the time comes.” When will the time come?

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com