The ‘hitting machine’ fights against luck.
Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes)’s batting record this year is awkward. In the first 31 games of the season (33 games for the team), his batting average was 0.232 (29 hits in 125 at-bats). It ranks 52nd out of 62 players who have filled the required at-bat. 1st in batting average based on at least 3,000 at-bats (0.338), 4th in KBO League history last year, ‘2 consecutive victories in hitting’, 5 batting crowns (batting average, most hits, RBIs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) and the first best player (MVP) in debut Since he is suspicious even, his batting average in the early 20s is more unfamiliar.
Coincidentally, he had a hand in his offseason batting form. Lee Jung-hoo, who is qualified for the post-season posting system (private competitive bidding), has a strong intention to challenge the US Major League Baseball (MLB). To cope with the fast balls of MLB players, he shortened his stride (stance) throughout the winter and lowered the height of his arm holding the bat to simplify the take-back (moving the bat slightly backward before swinging). He experimented with the changed batting form at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held in March and immediately applied it to the regular season. However, as various hitting indicators plummeted, the impatience grew. He even said to himself, “(The slump) took longer than I thought.”
The 2023 KBO professional baseball game between LG Twins and Kiwoom Heroes was held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the afternoon of the 9th. In the beginning of the 7th inning, Lee Jeong-hoo with 2 outs and 1st and 2nd bases is hitting a double with 2 RBIs. Jamsil = Reporter Minkyu Kim
Is Lee Jung-hoo’s sluggishness really serious? One of his records to keep an eye on is his Batting Averages on Balls In Play (BABIP). BABIP is the batting average for balls hit in play that hit fair territory, excluding home runs, strikeouts, and walks. Usually, players who hit a lot of line drives or have excellent power have a high BABIP. This is because if the batting ball is strong, it breaks through the defense, and if the main power is good, the possibility of an infield ground ball leading to a hit increases. But luck also plays a part. No matter how good a ball is hit in the fair area, the BABIP value will inevitably drop if it is caught in the opponent’s favor. Interpretation differs depending on how converged the BABIP is to the mean.
In that respect, a significant change is detected in Lee Jung-hoo’s BABIP. This year’s BABIP is 0.239, which is in the bottom 58 in the league (average of 0.319 at bats). Compared to 0.373 in 2021 and 0.339 last year, the figure has dropped significantly. A data analyst at a club said, “When looking at various tracking data, Lee Jung-hoo did not see anything extremely bad. So it is rather strange that his batting average fell so drastically.” . According to Sports2I, a baseball statistics company, Lee Jung-hoo’s average batting speed in play is in the top 3% of the league. That’s how good the batting quality is, but the BABIP is low, so there is talk of “unfortunate”.메이저놀이터
The 2023 KBO professional baseball Kiwoom Heroes and KIA Tigers match was held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the afternoon of the 16th. At the end of the 10th inning of overtime, Lee Jung-hoo, with one out and first base, led the game to victory with a walk-off two-run home run and greeted the crowd. Gocheok = Reporter Minkyu Kim
Kiwoom Hong Won-ki said, “There is no big difference in terms of in-play batted ball itself,” and said of Lee Jung-hoo ahead of the game against the LG Twins in Jamsil on the 10th, “I have only played 30 games yet. It is a bit unreasonable to compare many indicators with 30 games. There will be parts that you are not satisfied with, but I think you will need a lot of patience on set or yourself.” Lee Jeong-hoo recorded 2 hits, 2 RBIs and 2 runs in 4 at bats, leading the team to victory.
Lee Jung-hoo faces luck with the ‘2022 season batting form’. As he adjusts to his familiar batting form, his individual performance is improving little by little. Since the last 7 days, BABIP in 4 games has also risen to 0.313. He said, “Because I am a player who has to show (performance on the ground), I was impatient to continue (with the changed batting form),” he said. It’s the beginning of the season and we have more games to do.”