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Na Seung-yeop (21, Lotte Giants) participated in the 2023 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) on Monday at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea.

Na Seung-yeop joined Lotte in the second round (11th overall) of the 2021 KBO Draft. He made a name for himself as a “breakout” player in high school, with talk of a major league career.

After posting a 2-for-4 record in his first 60 games as a rookie, he completed his military service by enlisting in the commercial service last year.굿모닝토토

In 84 games in the Futures League this season, he batted 3-for-1 with two doubles, five home runs, and three stolen bases, and is expected to provide new energy for Lotte, which will start next season with Kim Tae-hyung-ho. “In terms of hitting, I focused on rotation, and I also worked a lot on my defense. I also improved my physical fitness,” he said, reflecting on his time with the organization.

Na did not make the final roster for the APBC team, but he was on the preliminary 20-man roster.

In addition to the final roster, seven of the reserve players trained with the squad on the last five days, so that they could respond quickly to variables such as injuries and inconsistencies.

There’s already a void in one spot. Kang Baek-ho (KT) suffered an adductor muscle injury while preparing for the playoffs and will not be able to play this year. In addition, Moon Bo-kyung (LG), who played first base at the Hangzhou Asian Games, will be unavailable due to his team’s run in the Korean Series.

Na Seung-yeop practices fielding at first base. By Jong-seo Lee
Ryu Joong-il, the national team manager, considered various options, including moving Noh Si-hwan to first base. He also utilized alternative resources. He had Na Seung-yup play first base defense to prepare him for the national team.

The national team’s first scrimmage. In order to efficiently check on a large number of players, we also included players from the national team in the commercial baseball team. Na Seung-yup played first base and batted first. There was no awkwardness. Na Seung-yeop had served in the military until recently.

From his first at-bat, he made a statement. He took a 150-kilometer fastball from 2B 2S against Moon Dong-joo, the national team’s starting pitcher, and sent it over the right field fence.

He struck out in the third inning, but drew a walk to load the bases in the sixth and reached base on an infield single in the eighth to end the day with a three-hit game. His defense at first base was also steady.

Despite Na Seung-yeop’s good performance in the field, the game ended in a 10-3 victory for the national team.

After the game, Na Seung-yeop said, “I was looking for a fastball. When one of my changeups became a ball, I thought it was the right time to try to win the game. (Moon) Dong-ju has a fastball, so I thought it would come fast,” he said.

Both defense and offense were utilized. Na Seung-yeop said, “It’s still not enough. We have one game left, so we’ll do our best,” he said.