Manager Larry Sutton gave his first impressions of new signing Kook Hae-sung the day before (Feb. 22) ahead of the game against the 토토사이트 NC Dinos at Busan Sajik Stadium on Feb. 23.

Lotte announced the signing of Kook Hae-sung in a press release the day before. Kook Hae-sung was tested at Sajik Stadium during the SSG’s three-game series last weekend and immediately signed a contract to become a Lotte man.

Kook joined Doosan as a developmental player in 2008 and was expected to be a switch-hitter with a long bat, but injuries prevented him from blossoming. In 214 games in the first team, he batted .238 with 11 home runs, 66 RBIs, and an OPS of .688 (99-for-416). However, after the 2021 season, he filed for future free agency and never found a team. He went unclaimed and has since been playing for the Seongnam MacPies in the independent baseball organization.

Upon signing with Lotte, Kook Hae-sung started in left field in the 23rd Futures League game and went 0-for-3 before being subbed out.

Manager Larry Sutton is still unfamiliar with Kook Hae-sung. Still, his first impression was strong. “I don’t know much about Hae-Sung Kook, but when I saw him swing, he had a short, powerful swing,” Sutton said. “I don’t know when he’s going to get called up to the first team, but he’s definitely going to help the first team. From what I’ve heard, he’s been working very hard, and I’ve seen him train hard,” he said, explaining his first impression.

Currently, Lotte has a very thin outfield. Kim Min-seok, Yoon Dong-hee, Ahn Kwon-soo, and Shin Yoon-hoo are on the first team roster, but mainstay Hwang Sung-bin is out with an ankle ligament injury and foreign hitter Jack Rex is out with a micro-tear in his knee. Ahn Kwon-soo is also dealing with elbow pain. Hwang Sung-bin’s return is imminent, but the team still needs a first-team bat.

Sutton welcomed Kook Hae-sung’s arrival, saying, “It’s clear that our first-team depth has been thickened with the addition of Kook Hae-sung. We have a lot of players with nagging injuries. If Hae-Sung Kook comes in, he’ll give us some confidence. For now, we are thinking about the corner outfield and the bottom of the batting order.”

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