Expectations are increasing for Jeon Mir, the “high-end promising player” of Lotte Giants. Not only “master” manager Kim Tae-hyung but also veterans are tongue-in-cheek with Jeon Mir.
Lotte chose Jeon in the first round of the 2024 rookie draft last year. Since his days as a Kyungpook National High School student, he has stood out in both pitching and hitting, and the Lotte scout team highly valued Jeon’s ability to play as a “doryu” and exercised his right to nominate candidates without much thought. At this point, Jeon plans to focus only on pitchers for the time being, but analysts say that his talent on the mound is never inferior to other promising players.라바카지노도메인
Jeon started to receive high marks when he was a sophomore at Kyungbok High School. Jeon started to stand out by playing in eight games as a batter, posting seven hits, five RBIs, five runs batted .280, and three games on the mound, posting one win and no loss. His talent then flourished as a junior. Jeon played in 27 games as a batter, had 28 hits, three homers, 32 RBIs, a .346 OPS 1.032 batting average, and pitched in 14 games (67 ⅔ innings) as a pitcher, posting five wins, one loss and a 0.85 ERA in 1.32 WHIP.
In particular, Jeon showed off his unrivaled presence as a ‘doryu’ at the Blue Dragon Open National High School Baseball Championship held in July last year, and brought his team to the top in 30 years. Jeon also won two gold medals at the competition, winning the Outstanding Player Award and the Master’s Award. Initially, Lotte intended to raise Jeon, who is talented in both pitching and hitting, as a ‘doryu.’ However, it was decided that it would be unreasonable to train both pitchers and batters now, and decided to focus only on pitchers who were judged to be a little more talented.
“I saw Jeon train on the pitcher’s side, and he had a good breaking ball and a good speed of around 140 kilometers,” manager Kim Tae-hyung told reporters before the first training session at the spring camp. “He looks like a fighting rooster on the mound. He certainly has uses on the pitcher’s side. However, the batter’s side needs more practice. If he can afford to make good batting performance in the first division right now, I will let him work concurrently, but for now, I do not have the physical strength to play both pitching and batting,” he said, explaining why he has decided to focus solely on pitching.
Then, Jeon took part in his first bullpen session on Thursday last week, and the coach gave him exclamations of admiration. Back then, manager Kim Tae-hyung gave a thumbs up saying, “He’s strong, Jeon!” Then, he said, “He is doing better than I thought. He feels different from what he threw last fall. Now that he is committed to pitching, he seems to have improved. Overall, everything has improved, including his balance. I think I prepared a lot.” The compliment he made before was not just lip service.
Notably, the coach explained that Kwak is as talented as he is now standing tall as the native ace of the Doosan Bears. Asked if Kwak’s potential was comparable to that of his young age, Kim Tae-hyung said, “Yes. However, Kwak couldn’t bowl confidently in his early days when he joined the team. He failed to show much of what he had. Then, as he gained confidence, he started to bowl over 150 kilometers of balls,” adding, “Being restrained is not the important thing. Even if he throws a ball about 145 kilometers long, he can be deployed in the middle (bulpen) with his current ball control.”
For the 2024 season, chances are high that he will be selected as a starting pitcher, but he also predicted that he will be able to play as a starting pitcher in the future. “You have to see him throw breaking balls. To start a pitcher, he needs a breaking ball that allows him to count counts,” the coach said. “But he liked slider. He has good control over the ball. He will do a good job no matter what he gives to him. He has a good throwing style, a fast tempo and is aggressive. He looks great on the mound.”
This did not just stem from the coach’s eyes. Koo Seung-min, the “core” of the bullpen, also seemed surprised by Jeon’s talent, as he recorded the largest number of holds in Lotte’s history, including 100 holds in his personal career last year, and 20 holds for the second consecutive year in the KBO League history. “First of all, I’m not a 19-year-old physique. I love it when I see him playing catch ball with (Kim) Won-joong,” Koo said towards Jeon.
Koo Seung-min then said, “I think I’m so jealous because I couldn’t do that at the age of Jeon Mir. I love my physical ability. However, I think I’ll be a really good player if I know what’s wrong with the game and get through it with advice.”
Ahn Bang-mao, who received Jeon’s ball in person, was also full of praise. When asked if he had received Jeon’s ball in person, Yoo Kang-nam said, “It was good,” and opened the door, “I can’t believe that he is a player who just graduated from high school, not to mention his physical ability. In particular, he has passion for sports and even a routine. When I was using the next room, I saw him briefly, and he went to weight training after 10 p.m.”
Yoo Kang-nam explained that if his routine is established a little more, he will become an outstanding player in the future. “I told Mir, ‘Don’t do (weight) at that time. Sleep during that time,’ but he slept a lot and exercised hard. He seemed greedy. If you make a bit more of a routine, you have the qualifications to become a better pitcher. He is strong even if he gets pitching, he said. “I’m really proud of you and you looked pretty.”
Of course, all rookie players should open the lid. No matter how good they are during the camp, there are many players who fail to show off their talents in the real game. What is clear, however, is that the coach and his seniors are not only talented but also supported with their efforts. Jeon is already raising expectations for the 2024 season