Enlisting in active duty is hard enough

Doosan Bears left-handed pitching prospect Lee Kyo-hoon, 24, has returned to the team after completing his military service. Having realized the value of baseball in the military, will he be able to shed the prospect tag and solve Doosan’s lefty famine?

According to Doosan officials, Lee was ordered to active duty on Dec. 6 last year and is currently conducting individual training for spring training at Icheon Bears Park. He enlisted as an active duty soldier in June 2022 and was assigned to an armored search company in Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, where he fulfilled his national defense obligations for a year and a half.

Through Doosan’s official YouTube channel ‘Bear Stevie’, Lee said, “It was a time when I learned the value of baseball. The unit created good conditions for me to exercise, so I trained with weights for two hours a day. I would call the trainer and ask about my condition and how to work out. That’s how I got in better shape in the unit. Currently, I’m at 100 percent, 토토사이트 and I’ve built up my body to the point where I can pitch,” he said.

While watching Doosan games in the military

Lee’s professional pride was scratched when he heard a shocking ‘diss’ from a comrade-in-arms. “I watched Doosan games every week in the army,” Lee said. “But while watching the games, I heard the words, ‘Why are you here’ and ‘Why did you come to the army?’ I shrugged it off as ‘I have no choice but to come,’ but I didn’t feel good. In the end, I thought, maybe I came to the army because I wasn’t good enough, so I just worked out,” he said, explaining his newfound determination.

Not only his body, but also his mind was upgraded through his time in the military. “My whole life, I only met friends who played baseball, but in the unit, I met friends who worked in companies, friends who went to university, and friends who studied well. When we talked, I realized that my bag strap was short. I feel like I’ve matured by meeting so many people.”

Out of Seoul High, Lee was drafted by Doosan with the 29th overall pick in the third round of the 2019 KBO Draft. After spending his first year in the Futures League, Lee finally made his first-team debut in 2020, his second year in the organization, but struggled with a 10.38 ERA in five games, and again in 2021 with a 10.80 ERA in 11 games. During the 2022 season, Lee decided to fulfill his military obligations by enlisting in active duty.

While Lee was away, Doosan’s lefty famine reached a critical level.

While the starting rotation – which includes foreign-born Brandon Waddell, APBC veteran Choi Seung-yong, and prospect Lee Won-jae – is not too worrisome, the bullpen is without a lefty who can reliably get lefties out of games. Aside from swingman Choi Seung-yong in 2023, Doosan was virtually left-handed in the bullpen.

In addition to Lee Byung-hun, Kim Ho-joon, and Baek Seung-woo, Doosan is counting on the pitching of Lee Kyo-hoon, who returned safely from the military. 사설 토토사이트 A Doosan official said, “Our left-handed power seems to be weak, but we have consistently selected left-handed pitchers in the recent rookie draft, and Lee Kyo-hoon is also discharged from the military. If we develop him step by step, he will have good power,” said a Doosan official, specifically mentioning Lee Kyo-hoon.

Thanks to his military service, Lee’s body was in good shape, and he recently played half-pitching for Icheon. “My goal is to get fit for the game before May and play a first-team game within the year. I will work hard to become a player who can contribute to the game and the team, not just a prospect. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

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