0.439 slugging percentage–the “slugging king” we knew is back

May 26, 2023 0 Comments

The ‘RBI king’ of baseball is back.

This season, Hong Chang-ki (30-LG Twins) has started to shine again. Through 25 days, Hong has a 0.439 on-base percentage, tied for first with teammate Moon Sung-ju (0.441). Out of the 60 batters who have had regular at-bats, only six have a slugging percentage above 4 per cent.

RBIs are Hong’s strongest ‘weapon’. He led the league in on-base percentage (.456) in 2021, his second full-time season. That year, he was ahead of both Kang Baek-ho (KT Wiz – 0.450) and Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes – 0.438), making a name for himself among baseball fans. He also drew 109 walks, the most in the league, making him a tricky hitter. In recognition of his value, his salary rose from 100 million won to 320 million won, the highest salary (excluding free agents) and raise (220 per cent) in the team. It was literally a ‘career high’.메이저사이트

Hong’s arm lost its sharpness last year. His on-base percentage dropped to .390. While still a respectable number, it was a far cry from the previous season, when it was well over 4 per cent. In June, he injured his adductor (side) muscle. Her performance in the first half of the season (64 games, 0.403 OPS) dropped in the second half (54 games, 0.374 OPS). “I was in great shape during the exhibition games, so I should have been a little more careful,” Hong said. Even after I came back, I got injured when I was getting better,” said Hong.

The keyword this season has been frustration. The team has been working hard since spring training in Arizona, USA. LG batting coach Lee Ho-joon said, “From camp, I practised a lot to hit the ball hard before the second strike. “We tried to eliminate the fear of swinging for the fences,” he said, “and after the second strike, we tried to make contact with our strengths and compete with our pitches.

He was so concerned about getting on base that it threw off his batting balance. “I had a strong feeling that I shouldn’t swing for the fences,” he says, “and my hitting point was very far back.” “I kept fouling and didn’t get good pitches. Before strike two, I worked a lot on creating my own pitches. I worked a lot on pulling my point forward and sending the ball down the first base line.” As his on-base percentage has risen, so has his batting average. Most of his offensive metrics are green.

Hong Chang-ki batted ninth in the opening game on 1 April. LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop chose Seo Geon-chang to bat leadoff. This could have been a blow to Hong’s ego, as he was mainly a table-setter last year. He was not discouraged. In the first three games of the season, he batted a monster .600 (6-for-10) with a .714 OPS. Encouraged by his performance, Yeom changed his game plan and immediately made Hong the number one hitter.

“I think 0.380 is high, so I think it would be good to keep it above that,” Hong said in an interview with this magazine in April. “My biggest goal this season is to not get sick,” he stressed. A ‘healthy’ Hong Chang-ki is on track to achieve her goal with her batting average.

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