SSG’s ‘big gun prospect’ Jeon Eui-san (23) is experiencing growing pains. He’s falling short of expectations. SSG coach Kim Won-hyung (51)’s plans for him seem to be a bit shaky. I spoke to Jeon directly. “Take a long look,” he said. He also ordered the complementary points.
In 28 games this season, Jeon is batting .197 with three home runs, nine RBIs, a .313 on-base percentage, a .352 slugging percentage, and a .665 OPS. His strikeout-to-walk ratio isn’t great either, with 22 strikeouts and 10 walks. His batting average with runners in scoring position is just .167.
His three home runs stand out. It’s safe to say he’s a strikeout machine. Against Kiwoom on the 3rd, he came in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 8th inning down 0-1 and hit a huge solo home run. It was the cannon that saved the day.
The problem is, it doesn’t work. There’s a hesitation in his swing. There’s no boldness. You get intimidated, you don’t take good swings, you don’t get results. And then you get stressed again. It’s a vicious cycle. Jeon is a cheerful guy, but lately he hasn’t been so cheerful in the dugout.
Coach Kim Won-hyung has a solution. ‘Accuracy’. He emphasized that the first thing is to improve this side. He explained that if he improves his batting average, long balls will follow.
He said, “I recently talked to (former) San-i. My hitting coach was there. I told him not to think about this year or next year right now. He’s a great future resource for SSG. But if he continues to play baseball like he is now, he can only remain a big-league prospect.”
“I say big, but a long hit is not something you can hit just because you want to. You have to hit it to go far. You can’t just take a big swing to hit something big. You have to think about it for years down the road. You have to take it step by step,” he emphasized.
His mantra is to be more accurate. “You have to be accurate from the beginning of your practice. The first thing is to improve your accuracy. It might not come out right away in a match. In the match, you just have to focus and do your thing. If you build it up in practice, it will come out in the game. You have to think about your hitting differently,” he explains.
“I told him to hit like Choi Ji-hoon. I don’t mean to hold the bat short. It means to hit concisely like Choi Ji-hoon. In power, Uhsan-i is above 먹튀검증. If you hit like (Ji-hoon) Choi, you can hit 30 home runs,” he said.
In the short term, it could be criticized as ‘making a tick’. But Kim was adamant. “That’s not what I mean. The hardware is good. I don’t mean to just hit the ball. Make your own swing, but keep it simple. Power doesn’t go anywhere. Once you have accuracy, the long ball will follow,” he emphasized.
In his first-team debut last year, Jeon hit .249 with 13 home runs, 45 RBIs, a .316 on-base percentage, a .481 slugging percentage, and a .797 OPS in 77 games. We were thrilled to have a “big first baseman. So did SSG, and so did the fans.
The coaching staff, including Kim Won-hyung, made Jeon the starting first baseman for the 2023 season. His performance was not good, and he was pushed out of the starting lineup. The task is clear. It’s difficult with a batting average in the teens. It will take time, but it’s definitely better to go for it. He was born in 2000 and is still only 23 years old.