Lotte Giants’ top employee Jeon Jun-woo did not hide his expectations about accompanying the ‘master’.안전놀이터
He expressed his determination to do his best to help the team take a leap forward next season under the leadership of new coach Kim Tae-hyung.
Jeon Jun-woo said in a phone call with ‘Xports News’ on the 20th, “There were a lot of rumors about who would be the new coach, so the players were very curious and wondered when it would be announced.” He added, “Coach Kim Tae-hyung is a master who won the Korean Series three times. “I and all the players on our team have high expectations,” he said.
Lotte announced this afternoon that it had appointed former Doosan Bears coach Kim Tae-hyung as the club’s 21st head coach. He was given special treatment with a contract period of 3 years, annual salary and down payment of 600 million won, totaling 2.4 billion won.
Coach Kim Tae-hyung served as the head coach of Doosan for eight years from the 2015 season to the 2022 season, leading the team to three Korean Series wins and four runner-up finishes. He stood out as a master as he made history by becoming the first player in the KBO League to advance to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years (2015-2021). After the end of the 2022 season, he was unable to renew his contract with Doosan, so he spent this season as a baseball commentator.
However, one year was enough for the master to live as a ‘wild man’. Lotte, which failed to advance to the fall baseball season for six consecutive years, chose coach Kim Tae-hyung as the savior to pull the team out of a dark period.
Starting with 7th place in the 2018 season, Lotte failed to leave the bottom rankings, finishing in 10th place in the 2019 season, 7th place in the 2020 season, and 8th place in the 2021-2022 season. Despite investing in recruiting three external free agent players this season, including Yoo Kang-nam (4 years, 8 billion won), Noh Jin-hyuk (4 years, 5 billion won), and Han Hyun-hee (3+1 years, 4 billion won), the team ranked 7th in the postseason. I didn’t receive an invitation.
Last August, coach Larry Sutton voluntarily resigned due to health issues, leading to a skit in which head coach Lee Jong-woon served as acting coach for the remainder of the season.
The vacuum in the first team’s command center, which lasted nearly two months, was filled with the appointment of coach Kim Tae-hyung. Lotte will be holding a finishing camp at the 2nd team stadium in Sangdong, Gimhae starting on the 23rd, and will be working hard with coach Kim Tae-hyung with the goal of taking a leap forward next season.
The appointment of the next coach was a big topic among Lotte players. Now that the problem of the head coach’s absence has disappeared, preparations for the 2024 season can be accelerated. The composition of the team, renewal and recruitment of foreign players, and reorganization of the coaching staff are also expected to speed up.
New coach Kim Tae-hyung will hold an official inauguration ceremony as the club’s 21st head coach at the Sapphire Room of Lotte Hotel Busan on the 24th. On the 25th, he will hold a meeting with all first and second team players at the Sangdong 2nd team stadium and take his first official action as Lotte head coach. Prospective free agent players will also attend the meeting and exchange greetings with coach Kim Tae-hyung.
Jeon Jun-woo is determined to do his best to help the new leader and Lotte rise to a higher place. Jeon Jun-woo has always had a great sense of responsibility as a ‘one-club man’ who has worn only the Giants uniform since joining Lotte in 2008. In recent years, Lotte has had a lonely fall without ‘baseball’, but coach Kim Tae-hyung and he promised to show a different side in the 2024 season.
Jeon Jun-woo said, “I’ve never lived with coach Kim Tae-hyung, but I thought it would be nice to play baseball together once. I’m so glad you came to Lotte this time.”
He also said, “I heard that coach Kim Tae-hyung is strong and has a refreshing style. I know that he is a person who comforts the players well.” He added, “I think the players will have to trust the coach from next year and follow him well. If the coach understands the players well and manages them, “I think Lotte will become a better team,” he emphasized.
Jeon Jun-woo, born in 1986, showed off his unwavering skills even in his 16th year as a professional. He showed himself as a top right-handed hitter in the league with a batting average of 0.312 (154 hits in 493 at-bats), 17 home runs, 77 RBIs, 9 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.852 in 138 regular season games.
For Lotte, Jeon Jun-woo was the support of the batting lineup. Thanks to Jeon Jun-woo, who recorded the most hits, home runs, and RBIs in the team, they were able to compete in the top five until the end of the season. Jeon Jun-woo is the core of the Giants to the extent that it is difficult to imagine Lotte without Jeon Jun-woo.
He became a starting player during Lotte’s heyday in the early 2010s and has always maintained Lotte’s batting lineup except for the 2015 season, when he served in the military at the National Police Agency. Even when the team’s performance went through ups and downs, he silently did his part.
Until this year, he has left shining traces of a batting average of 0.300, 1,812 hits, 196 home runs, and 888 RBI in 1,616 first-team games. If there is no injury, he is expected to reach his 200th home run next year and 1,000 RBIs the year after.
Jeon Jun-woo also has confidence in maintaining his skills. He continues to push himself hard every year to earn a spot in the lineup.
Jeon Jun-woo said, “I have never thought that it is okay to exercise a little loosely because I am a veteran,” and added, “Good performance comes out when I overcome friendly competition with young players. As the prospects on the team have gained valuable experience this season, they will be able to play next year.” “We will work hard to do better together,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lotte officially announced the dismissal of general manager Seong Min-gyu at the same time as the appointment of manager Kim Tae-hyung. General Manager Seong Min-gyu is leaving Lotte four years after taking office during the 2019 season.
Lotte’s position is that it will resolve the issue of appointing the vacant general manager as soon as possible. The absence period of the general manager must be minimized in order to discuss contract issues with internal free agent players such as Jeon Jun-woo and Ahn Chi-hong.