Son was one of the most highly regarded catchers in the draft at the time, as he excelled at Changan High School, winning the Imansoo Catcher Award, which recognizes the best catcher among amateur players. The Lotte Giants, who didn’t have a lot of catching depth at the time, selected Son with the first overall pick in the 2021 First-Year Player Draft. While the sample size in his debut was small, he made an impact.
After struggling to a .199 batting average in 52 games with the second team in 2021, Son put on his military uniform after an impressive .316 batting average (19-for-6) with a .725 OPS in 20 games with the first team. Initially, he was scheduled to enlist with Hyunbuk in August to quickly resolve his military issues, but he changed his plans to join the Merchant Marine, and after receiving a passing score, he became the only Lotte player to join the Merchant Marine. After a long time, he was ordered to be transferred to the army on December 12.
In the second division, Son has taken off: He played in 69 games last year, hitting .285 with 39 hits, one home run, 31 RBIs, 30 runs scored, and a .831 OPS, and this year, in 29 games, he has 29 hits, one home run, 24 RBIs, 15 runs scored, and a .330 OPS of .882. In the early part of the season, Sohn was especially hot at the plate, hitting over .400 with the second team.
Manager Larry Sutton has been thrilled 메이저사이트 with Son’s rise to prominence with the Commerce. “He’s doing well, and Na Seung-yeop is doing very well,” Sutton said earlier this month, beaming, “I think they’re going to come back and help the first team.”
“I think it was beneficial,” Son Sung-bin said with a smile, “In Korea, you can’t help but be sexually stressed, but for the one and a half years I was inside, I was able to play baseball without the stress of going back and forth between the first and second teams, without the pressure, and learn a lot. I really felt a lot of things.”
“My roommates are (Choi) Won-joon-yi (KIA) and (Choi) In-ho (Hanwha), and I learned a lot from them. Since I’m younger, my older brothers with more experience really helped me a lot in terms of hitting.”
“First of all, I’ve simplified my approach at the plate, reducing the amount of things I think about. I also practiced with a good personal direction before stepping into the batter’s box, so I think the results followed as much as I prepared in the game,” he said, revealing how he was able to perform well despite not being a regular starter.
Of course, it wasn’t just his offense that improved. Even though he’s been in the mercantile industry for a long time, his ability to synchronize with pitchers has also improved in his third year as a professional. “My goal before joining the team was to become a catcher who can trust the pitcher,” says Son. I focused on that, and my pitching brothers told me that they felt comfortable. Catching is also something I do every day, so I didn’t think I had improved, but looking back, I think I’ve gotten better,” he smiled.
Prior to this season, Lotte signed one of its four free agent catchers, Yoo Kang-nam, to a four-year, 8 billion won contract. The fact that Yoo is wearing a Lotte uniform could help Son Sung-bin as he looks to the future. “I want to learn a lot because I think I have a weak framing,” he said, “and I think he will pass on a lot of know-how if I ask him questions.
After solving his military problems, Son aims to play in the first team as soon as possible. Although it is unclear whether he will be called up to the first team upon his discharge, Son will join the first team squad on the 13th against the Sasik Hanwha Eagles. He said, “They (Lotte) are really good these days. I don’t have any other words to describe it,” he said, adding, “I really want to play baseball outside with Lotte, so I’ve been having a lot of fun and preparing hard with my (managerial) brothers. I want to play in the first team as soon as possible.”
After Son Sung-bin, Na Seung-yeop will also complete his military service in November. He will be able to play in a Lotte uniform from the 2024 season. Son Sung-bin said, “I’ve been really envious of Seung-yeop lately. I think I had a lot of pranks because of Seung-yup, and I had a lot of things to laugh about because I had a friend.” Reflecting on his time in the military, Son emphasized, “I will prepare well so that I can stay in the first team as long as possible this year.”