‘Baseball Korea’ would like to introduce you to some of the dark horses in college baseball who are relatively under the radar ahead of the draft.
Our third player is Yongin University of Arts and Sciences third baseman Lee Kyu-min.
3: ‘Dog’ Lee Kyu-min leads Bae Myung-go to victory
Strong shoulders are very important for an infielder. This is especially true for shortstops and third basemen who have to run long distances to first base. There are many players who give up their infield positions because of their poor throwing ability, even though they have smooth handling and natural steps. From this point of view, Lee Kyu-min is the most suitable player for the infield position. He’s not very tall, but his shoulders are as strong as those of a professional pitcher.
There are probably beasts in baseball who can easily hit the 140 mark with a speed gun. However, there aren’t many infielders who can throw a ball in the mid-to-high 140 mph range from the mound like Lee. “When I was in high school, I rarely played in official games because there were a lot of pitchers on the team,” he says, “but since I started college, I’ve been on the mound and my fastball has been up to 146-7 km/h.” He shows confidence when asked about his fastball.
Lee has been known for his strong shoulder since his days at Bae Myung Go. Even back then, he was considered the “No. 1” shoulder in the game, beating out the competition. He was in charge of Bae Myung Go’s hot corner with his powerful delivery, even though the competition for the starting position was fierce. His batting wasn’t bad either. In 2019, his senior year, he batted .333 to power the team’s offense, and in that year’s association championship game against Jeonju, he hit the game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning with the score tied 1-1. He was indispensable to the team.
“I’ve won championships in elementary and middle school, but winning in high school was more special because we fought so hard. It was the result of competing against national powerhouses with limited opportunities.” For Lee, winning was a struggle.
After graduating from high school, he knocked on the door of the United States, where a scout from an MLB team described him as “an infielder with a wide range of tools and a lot of upside.” “After failing to be drafted, I talked about signing with a major MLB team. They evaluated me as an infielder with good tools. I even dropped out of my school (Dong-A University) to prepare for the U.S.,” he said.
However, the results were not good. His dreams of playing in the major leagues came to an end when he underwent MCL surgery. Despite the disappointment, Lee didn’t give up. His journey to the United States gave him the gift of confidence. “During my journey to the U.S., I felt something I’ve never felt before in my entire baseball career: confidence that I can do it.” Lee says.
Since enrolling at the “new” Yongin University of Arts and Sciences, Lee has gone from strength to strength. Since his freshman year, he’s been a pitcher and has a batting average of nearly four percent (.387). His steady defense was also a plus. Although overshadowed by his strong shoulders, Lee has another weapon in his arsenal. His grit, reminiscent of “Akbari” Son Ah-seop, and his competitive spirit are said to be as good as that of a professional player. Mental management also played a role. “In the past, I used to get very excited during matches,” says Lee Kyu-min. Compared to my high school days, I think that part has changed the most.” However, his second challenge was also ‘unknown’.
Lee decided to defer his graduation before the 2023 season. He chose to do so in order to have one more chance to enter the draft. A scout from a local A team said, “He’s a relatively under-the-radar case because he doesn’t have exceptional physical attributes,” and predicted, “He’ll be an attractive card for a team that values tools.”
“I’d like to say that I’m a player who can show my skills rather than just my record,” he says, “and my last goal this year is to go pro somehow.” There was a hint of eagerness in his voice as he concluded the interview.스포츠토토
Baseball Korea Editor Kim Ji-woo firstname.lastname@example.org
Baseball Korea is a specialized baseball magazine that covers Korean youth baseball, high school baseball, and student baseball, as well as KBO prospects, scouts, and the rookie draft. It was founded in March 2019 as the Korean version of Baseball America and delivers rich baseball stories through offline monthly magazines, YouTube broadcasts, and online media. Baseball Korea aims to highlight the efforts of amateur baseball players and field baseball players who are sweating for their dreams and provide them with healthy motivation. In 2023, we will deliver the stories of many amateur players through ‘MK Sports’.
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