Samsung 1R superrookie gets starting lessons…but it’s more than bitter→4 runs in 1.2 innings

Lee Ho-sung (Samsung Lions), who is undergoing a starting class in the Futures League, got his first chance to start for the first time since coming to the pros, but it was a disappointing performance.

Samsung’s Lee Ho-sung started against the Lotte Giants Futures team in the 2023 KBO Futures League on Sunday at Gyeongsan Stadium. It was the first time for Lee to start for either the first team or the Futures.

Lee got out of the jam in the first inning by getting the leadoff hitter, Hwang Sung-bin, to ground out to first base. He then gave up a hit to Jung Hoon, a walk to Kim Min-soo, and a single to Park Hyung-joon before striking out Kim Dong-hyuk to get through the inning without allowing a run.

But the second inning was a problem. Shin Yun-hoo, the leadoff hitter, flied out to center field but gave up a single to Jung Dae-sun. He then gave up an RBI double to Kang Tae-yul. Kim Se-min soon followed with a double to extend the lead to two, and Hwang Sung-bin and Jung Hoon followed suit. After hitting Kim Min-soo with a single, Lee turned the mound over to Park Se-woong.

Lee went 1.2 innings, allowing four runs on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts. He threw 59 pitches. The team lost 6-8, and Lee was left with a bitter taste of defeat.

Lee is one of Samsung’s top pitching prospects. Selected by Samsung with the 8th pick in the first round of the 2023 First-Year Player Draft out of Incheon High School, Lee is known for his reliable fastball and changeup, but his biggest strength is his mental game. He is not easily shaken.

After being named to the opening roster, Lee was removed from the first team on April 16 after going winless in three games and posting a 2.57 ERA. He was sent down to the Future for about a month. He was sent down to the Futures and had been preparing for about a month, and on April 18, he came out of the bullpen against SSG and threw one scoreless inning.

As mentioned above, he has a steady delivery and is not easily rattled. He also has excellent game management skills. “His style is really bold and daring,” said Samsung coach Park Jin-man, adding, “(Kang) Min-ho also praised Ho-sung for his game management skills. He doesn’t look like a young player. He has good mind control. I think he’s a little bold even in normal times.”

What does the future hold for Lee Ho-seong as a starter?

The Samsung Future Team also saw the faces of Kim Dong-yeop and Kim Jae-sung, who are preparing for their comebacks. Kim started at second base and designated hitter, going 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. Kim Jae-sung came in for Lee Byung-heon and went 1-for-1 with a walk.