Na Seung-yeop (21), a ‘genius hitter’ from the professional baseball Lotte Giants, returns to Lotte. Fans are turning to the 2024 season to see what role Na Seung-yeop, whom Lotte ambitiously recruited by investing 500 million won in contract money, will be given by coach Kim Tae-hyung.
Na Seung-yeop will be discharged from the Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Sangmu) on the 1st of next month. Na Seung-yeop enlisted in May 2022 and played as a central hitter for the Sangmu Phoenix Baseball Team in the Korea Professional Baseball (KBO) Futures League.
Na Seung-yeop debuted in professional baseball as a 2nd round pick (11th overall) for Lotte in the 2021 KBO rookie draft. Na Seung-yeop, who received a lot of attention as a ‘5-tool player’ during his time at Deoksu High School, is an infielder for whom 10 KBO league teams have announced their intention to recruit him. Na Seung-yeop announced his intention to advance to the Major League Baseball (MLB) when he was a third-year student at Deoksu High School, but after the persistent courtship of former Lotte general manager Seong Min-gyu at the time and his persuasion to remain in Korea, he signed a contract with Lotte for a down payment of 500 million won. In order to win Na Seung-yeop’s heart, former general manager Seong gave Na Seung-yeop expensive ‘Air Jordan’ basketball shoes and succeeded in making Na Seung-yeop wear a Lotte uniform.
Na Seung-yeop played well in 42 games for the Lotte Futures team in 2021, recording a batting average of 0.292 (42 hits in 144 at-bats), 31 RBIs, and 2 home runs. In May 2021, Na Seung-yeop played for the Sangmu Phoenix Baseball Team as the team’s main hitter along with Son Seong-bin (21), his classmate at Lotte, and recorded a batting average of over 0.300 for two consecutive years.
Na Seung-yeop recorded a batting average of 0.300 (86 hits in 287 at-bats), 64 RBI, and 7 home runs in 82 games in the 2022 season. Na Seung-yeop was also selected as the Futures League’s ‘Mr. All-Star’ by recording 3 hits and 1 RBI in the 2022 Futures League All-Star Game. Na Seung-yeop was used as the Phoenix baseball team’s fourth hitter this season as well, recording a batting average of 0.312 (92 hits in 295 at-bats) and 57 RBIs in 84 games. Na Seung-yeop ranked 5th in batting average, 4th in hits, and 3rd in RBIs in the Futures League this season.스포츠토토
Na Seung-yeop is evaluated as a hitter with excellent hitting ability based on strong wrist strength. Na Seung-yeop has been recognized as a player with excellent hitting ability since his high school days, producing mid- to long-distance hits based on his smooth swing form.
Lotte, which hired coach Kim Tae-hyung, a ‘championship contractor,’ is happy to see Na Seung-yeop join the team. Lotte expects that if Na Seung-yeop adds strength to the first-team batting lineup and defense, they will be able to have a more solid team. If Na Seung-yeop displays the hitting ability he showed during his time as Sangmu on the first-team stage, he is expected to be able to create a strong batting lineup with Ko Seung-min (23), Kim Min-seok (19), Yoon Dong-hee (20), and Son Seong-bin (21).
Na Seung-yeop is likely to play an infielder in Lotte’s defense. With Kim Min-seok, Yoon Dong-hee, and Hwang Seong-bin filling the three outfield positions, Na Seung-yeop is expected to play first or third baseman. Na Seung-yeop is expected to compete for a spot in the infield with Han Dong-hee (24), Park Seung-wook (31), and Kim Min-soo (25), who are guarding the Lotte infield.
Meanwhile, Lotte coach Kim Tae-hyung has been getting to know the Lotte players by leading the Lotte team’s final training at Sangdong Baseball Stadium in Gimhae since the 25th. Coach Kim is carefully assessing the team’s strength by examining each player’s abilities and conducting one-on-one training.