“There are a lot of floating balls”… Director’s Advice for ‘Post Kim Kang-min’

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Outfielder Choi Ji-hoon (26, SSG Landers) is experiencing ups and downs.메이저놀이터 SSG director Kim Won-hyung brought up an interesting story, saying, “I think there are too many floating balls.”

Choi Ji-hoon’s batting average this season is 0.261 (86 hits in 330 at-bats) as of the 9th. He ranked only 39th out of 49 batters who filled regulation plate appearances. The monthly batting average for July was 0.182 (19 hits in 55 at-bats), less than 20%. Manager Kim Won-hyung said, “Choi Ji-hoon needs a ground ball. If the opposing infielder fumbles the ball even a little, he can live with his quick feet (at first base), but there are too many fly balls. Most of the hits are straight hits (toward right field).”

Choi Ji-hoon’s season ground ball (GO) / fly ball (FO) ratio is 0.72. He has more fly balls (119) than ground balls (86). Even compared to last year, when the ground ball/floating ball ratio was 0.88, the number of floating balls increased. Manager Kim Won-hyung said, “If you are a big shot player, you have to hit the ball, but Choi Ji-hoon, who has good main power, thinks it is better to increase the ground ball. This is because pressing the opponent’s defense with his quick feet can cause a lucky hit or an error.

Director Kim Won-hyung added, “Ji-hoon should have a lot of hits in the infield. Just looking at Hong Chang-ki (LG Twins) doesn’t mean he only has hits.” Hong Chang-gi’s ground ball/floating ball ratio was 1.54. He has the third-highest ground ball percentage among regulation at-bat hitters. He blows in-play balls all over the infield and uses them as a driving force for his 30% batting average. Director Kim said, “Hong Chang-ki has many hits that exceed the infielder’s height by pushing.”

Left-handed hitter Choi Ji-hoon has an overwhelming proportion of outfield hits (76) than infield hits (9). Outfield hits are mostly directed toward right field. It means actively pulling.

The fact that the batting style is monotonous can be a ‘disadvantage’. Manager Kim Won-hyung cited Jose Fernandez, a foreign hitter who played for the Doosan Bears, as an example and said, “Fernandez had an in-and-out swing. If it is done, (the ball) will go this way (toward the right field),” he said. 

Fernandez is a spray hitter capable of both pulling and pushing, recording a career-high 723 hits during the four years he played in the KBO League (2019-2022). Annual average of 180.75. Park Yong-taek, sports commentator at KBS N, said, “There is a kinematic sequence. It can be said to be a sequence in which the exercise ability is demonstrated. This motion works best, so the bat head remains (behind) until late.”

Manager Kim Won-hyeong said, “Choi Ji-hoon seems to have a little less ability to cope after the second strike. He has to shift his center of gravity from the lower body to the end so that he can make contact easily. Then, when he hits a falling ball, he gets a hit. (Choi Ji-hoon) Since I only swing with my arm, the course of the ball is limited,” he expressed regret.

Choi Ji-hoon is the core of SSG’s power. He was dubbed ‘post Kim Kang-min’ and took the starting center fielder spot. At the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) in September, he even wore the Taegeuk mark. Manager Kim Won-hyung said, “I think Choi Ji-hoon is a player who will do better than he is now.” problem,” he said.

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