10 home runs in the second half, OPS 1.119, even ‘snow baseball’ OK… Na Seong-beom’s bat is hot
KIA Tigers faced an unexpected variable ahead of the opening of this season. This is because starting outfielder Na Seong-beom was unable to participate in the opening game due to a left calf injury. Having felt uncomfortable since the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held in March, he did not appear in the exhibition game, and Na Seong-beom’s name was not included in the regular season opening entry.
There was some speculation that he would be able to return in April, but his recovery was slow. In the end, Na Seong-beom was diagnosed with microscopic damage to his calf muscles through a second detailed examination in early April. The KIA team explained at the time that a 4-week break was recommended, and it was expected that it would take up to 8 weeks to return. A big gap was inevitable not only in his attack but also in his defense.
In the end, KIA recorded 28 wins, 1 draw, and 33 losses (0.459) in 62 games while Na Seong-beom was absent, ranking 8th. The remaining players on the team tried to do their best as much as possible, but realistically, there was no player who could fill Na Seong-beom’s void. From the team’s perspective, they had to wait for him to return as soon as possible.
Finally, on June 20th, Na Seong-beom, who was tested for the first time in the Futures League match against the Lotte Giants, was immediately called up to the first team after playing three games. In the home game against KT Wiz on June 23, which was registered as an entry, he made a spectacular comeback by hitting a home run.
Na Seong-beom, who had fine-tuned his batting skills before the All-Star break, started to hit the ground running at the end of July and started hitting without stopping. Starting with the Gwangju Lotte Giants game on July 29th, he continued his streak of no hits in 9 consecutive games, and there were far more days with hits than days with no hits.안전놀이터
This month, Na Seong-beom’s batting ability reached its peak. His performance in 9 games, from the Incheon SSG Landers game on the 1st to the Gwangju LG Twins game on the 10th, was 15 hits in 31 at-bats, a batting average of 0.484, 4 home runs, and 14 RBIs, and there were as many as 6 games in which he achieved multiple hits. Even if the range is expanded in the second half, Na Seong-beom is showing better than expected performance with 53 hits in 140 at-bats in 38 games, a batting average of 0.379, 10 home runs, 38 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.119.
Another thing that stands out is that there were more walks (24) than strikeouts (22) in the second half. This means that he is persistently harassing pitchers by showing not only accurate contact and punching power, but also ‘snow baseball’. This is also the reason why KIA waited for Na Seong-beom for a long time.
Na Seong-beom felt pain in his left little toe after being hit by a foul ball he hit during the game against LG on the 10th, and was immediately replaced by Choi Won-jun after two at-bats. It was a heartbreaking moment for both the team and the players. Fortunately, Na Seong-beom, who avoided a major injury due to a simple bruise, was able to face the new week without leaving the line. As the team enters the remaining game schedule in earnest, attention is being paid to whether Na Seong-beom’s hot bat can continue to lead KIA’s upward trend.