Lotte chose a bold change.
On the 20th, Lotte officially announced, “Former SBS sports commentator Kim Tae-hyung has been appointed as the 21st head coach.” The terms of the contract are a total of 2.4 billion won over 3 years (down payment of 600 million won, annual salary of 600 million won). He graduated from Shinil High School and Dankook University, joined the OB Bears in 1990, and played active duty until 2001. After his retirement, he gained leadership experience by working as a battery coach for the Doosan Bears and SK Wyverns.
He became the head coach of Doosan in 2015 and led the team to advance to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years and reach the top three times. Coach Kim Tae-hyung said, “I am well aware of the weight of the position of coach of the Lotte Giants. I am grateful to the Lotte fans and club owner Shin Dong-bin for choosing coach Kim Tae-hyung. I will repay the expectations of the fans who have waited for a long time and achieve results.”
In order for coach Kim Tae-hyung to continue his successful voyage at Lotte, ‘eldest brother’ Jeon Jun-woo is essential. This is because he, who has all the elements to become a good player, such as skill, personality, and leadership, must lead the team.
He graduated from Gyeongju High School and Konkuk University and began his professional career at Lotte in 2008. He played in 1,616 games for the first team and recorded a batting average of .300 (1,812 hits in 6,039 at-bats), 196 home runs, 888 RBIs, 996 runs, and 133 stolen bases. In 138 games this season, he had the best performance among the team’s hitters with a batting average of .301, 2 ri (154 hits in 493 at-bats), 17 home runs, 77 RBI, 80 runs, and 9 stolen bases.
To Jeon Jun-woo, the aging curve is someone else’s story. He said emphatically, “Not only is he the oldest, but both his body and mind are in his 20s. The older I get, the more I exercise. I work harder than I did in my 20s. That’s because only then can I show a better performance.” He proved to himself that ‘age is just a number.’
He is also the player who best matches the baseball style that coach Kim Tae-hyung pursues. Although he is the eldest member of the team, he never shows signs of slacking off. One day, he said, “I’m always on edge. I think I’ll break down the moment I think, ‘This will be enough.’ I don’t think I’ll be able to do that until I retire.”
Jeon Jun-woo got to this position only through constant effort. He has never been caught up in gossip and is a player recognized by all of his teammates. Jeon Jun-woo has a very good reputation both inside and outside the club.
His outstanding leadership is one of Jeon Jun-woo’s greatest strengths. During his time on the police baseball team, he was called ‘Big Boss’ and was highly respected by his colleagues.
Seung-an Yoo, president of the Korea Little League Baseball Federation, who was in charge of the police baseball team at the time, said, “Jeon Jun-woo is a player with special leadership. He is soft-spoken but has a charisma that juniors cannot reject. When Jeon Jun-woo was the captain, he said, ‘Do whatever you want.’ “But we really did a good job of bringing the team together without any differences.”안전놀이터
After becoming eligible for the first time as a free agent, Jeon Jun-woo signed a four-year contract with a maximum total of 3.4 billion won. He was not properly recognized for his value because his market conditions were not good at the time. Afterwards, even players whose performance was not as good as Jeon Jun-woo received much better treatment. Even fans expressed deep disappointment over Jeon Jun-woo’s contract.
Just as Lotte treated manager Kim Tae-hyung generously with a total of 2.4 billion won over three years, shouldn’t Jeon Jun-woo, who is essential for Kim Tae-hyung’s successful voyage, be treated well enough to wash away the disappointment of his first free agency?