Not the second Lee Jung-hoo, but the first Kim Min-seok…Lotte’s decision was right
He was expected to be the second Lee Jung-hoo, but now he stands tall under the name of Kim Min-seok (19, Lotte). Lotte’s decision was right.
Lotte Giants’ right-handed and left-handed outfielder Kim Min-seok quickly escapes from trial and error and is performing a sensational performance. Kim Min-seok graduated from Whimoon High School last year and stepped on the professional stage in the 3rd place in the 2023 Lotte 1st round. Of the 28 games he has played since then, multi-hit games are already 7, 1/4 of which are multi-hit games. He has already come up with two more 3-hit games.
Above all, the most surprising part is that Kim Min-seok, a professional player who has barely graduated from high school, is quickly adapting to the professional world. He is the fastest among rookie beasts of his age to take the starting position.
During the month of April, the batting average was 0.196 / 9 runs / 6 RBIs, and the expected appearance did not come out. However, Kim Min-seok recorded a batting average of 0.334/5 runs/4 RBIs/3 steals only after May, raising his batting average to 0.250 for the season. He has not yet posted an outstanding cumulative record, but he seems to be gradually establishing himself as Lotte’s new lead-off.
In particular, he completely captured the hearts of Lotte fans with his excellent batting ability, dynamic base running and fighting spirit. According to Lotte, Min-seok Kim ranked first in the sales rankings of professional and authentic uniforms sold through Lotte Giants online and offline stores this season (as of May 11).
It was Kim Min-seok, a rookie, who filled the vacant position of Lee Dae-ho, who kept the No. 1 spot until his retirement last year. It is also the result of defeating veterans within the team, Jeon Jun-woo, and Han Dong-hee, who is called the successor of Lee Dae-ho. It can be seen that Lotte fans have a lot of interest and love for Kim Min-seok this season.
It’s not often that a rookie beast gets so much attention and quickly establishes itself in the pros. But Lotte was just as confident. Last year, Kim Min-seok dominated the high school stage and was considered the best beast. Lotte had the 3rd place nomination for the 2023 rookie draft.
At the time, as Hanhwa Kim Seo-hyun was nominated as the first choice and KIA Yoon Young-cheol as the second choice, Lotte could have selected Shin Young-woo (NC, Kyungnam High School at the time), who was selected as one of the so-called ‘high school big 3 pitchers’. However, without hesitation, Kim Min-seok was nominated as originally planned.안전놀이터
It was something that had already been confirmed internally at a point well ahead of the rookie draft. At the time, a high-ranking Lotte official said, “The team has confidence that Kim Min-seok has as much batting talent as Lee Jung-hoo.” He has weaknesses in defense, but if he converts from a pro to an outfielder, he will be able to demonstrate his strengths more,” he highly praised Kim Min-seok’s potential in offense and defense.
Also, a Lotte official at the time said, “He plays not like a high school player. He did not hide his anticipation, saying, “If he gains more experience and matures as a pro, he will grow into a good player who can take charge of Lotte’s fielding team for a long time.”
Anyway, for a long time, the first-round nomination trend in the rookie draft was centered on pitchers. First of all, most teams had a strong strategy of ‘catching a good pitcher first’, which is relatively rare. But this year was different. If Lotte does not nominate Kim Min-seok, there were multiple teams planning to pick Kim Min-seok, who was considered the best fielder in high school within the first round.
In the end, Lotte boldly chose Min-seok Kim in the fastest nomination order, and Min-seok Kim himself is now in the process of proving that the choice was right. It is still too early to say that Kim Min-seok has achieved success in the professional league. However, at least Kim Min-seok is showing the possibility that he can stand proudly on the professional stage under his own name, not as ‘someone’s successor’.