Can Lee Ho-yeon (28), an on-trade transfer from Lotte, breathe new life into the KT Wiz infield?
On March 19, KT, led by head coach Lee Kang-cheol, made a trade with the Lotte Giants. In exchange for left-handed pitcher Shim Jae-min, KT acquired infielder Lee Ho-yeon. KT has had a lot of fun with Lotte trades in the past, so it was hoped that this one would be no different.
Infielder Lee made his professional debut in the 2018 Lotte Secondary 6th Round (53rd overall) after graduating from Gwangju First High-Sungkyunkwan University. He made his first first-team appearance in 2020. In his three seasons prior to this season, Lee hit .241 with two home runs, 17 RBIs, and 20 runs scored.
He didn’t make a first-team appearance this season before coming to KT, but he showed flashes of brilliance in the Futures League. In 18 games, he batted .433 with 29 hits, three home runs, 17 RBIs and 18 runs scored. His career batting average in the Futures League is .307.
Lee was also the MVP of the 2018 Futures League All-Star Game and has completed his military service.
“With first-team experience, Lee Ho-yeon is an infield resource who has proven his hitting ability in the Futures League this season, ranking high in key hitting metrics such as batting average and slugging percentage,” said KT general manager Nado Hyun. “He can play all positions in the infield, and we expect synergistic effects through competition with our existing infield resources.”
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol also expressed his excitement, saying, “I am satisfied with the left-handed infielder who can hit long balls, which was lacking in our team.”
Although he has only played three games for KT, he is doing a great job for KT right now. In addition to showing stable defense by alternating between second and third base, he is also adding power in the offense.
On the 20th against the Suwon Doosan Bears, he hit a single with one out in the eighth inning to break Doosan ace Alcantara’s no-hitter. He went hitless on the 21st, but on the 23rd against the Suwon Kiwoom Heroes, he had a multi-hit game with Jang Jang-woo. His blast to right field had a lot of power. On the 23rd, KT had six hits, with Lee accounting for one-third of them. It was his first multi-hit game of the season and first since September 24 against Kiwoom last year.안전놀이터
Lee Ho-yeon is exactly what KT needs in the infield. He can add power to the lineup, which KT has been lacking, and fill the void left by Hwang Jae-gyun, who is out with an injury. Lee played in 88 games for Lotte last season, hitting .244 with 50 hits, two home runs, 16 RBIs, and 20 runs scored. A career high. He is considered a player who will perform even better if given the opportunity.
KT is currently in last place with 12 wins, 26 losses, and two ties. Can the trade acquisition from Lotte be a breath of fresh air for KT?