‘AVG 0.179-12K’ Daejeon Themes’ Harsh KBO League Adaptation… Hanwha Perseveres

Posted bycollagennewtree@gmail.com Posted onJuly 10, 2023 Comments0

“The strikeout rate is a little high, but…”

Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said this while preparing for the Changwon 3-game series against NC at the end of last month. In fact, Nick Williams (30), who joined Changwon in that three-game series, had 57 walks and 255 strikeouts in his major league career. He also struck out 36 times in 39 games in Triple-A for the Chicago White Sox in 2021.

Choi Won-ho said at the time that Williams would not be batting below Chae Eun-sung’s next spot in the batting order, which is the fifth or sixth spot. After much deliberation, he decided to push him between Noh and Chae. Hanwha has a weak bottom of the order, and if Williams batted in front of rookie Moon Hyun-bin, he would be targeted by the left-handed bullpen. He also realized that pitchers would have to go in front of Chae Eun-sung to face Williams.메이저놀이터

Choi considered the best batting order for Williams, who has a high strikeout rate, to see as many good pitches as possible and settled on the fourth spot. Chae Eun-sung was moved down to No. 5. Williams batted No. 4 from her debut against KT on June 27 to Lotte on June 6, but moved to No. 2 against SSG on June 8, and then to No. 7 against SSG on June 9.

In other words, Williams struggled to adjust to hitting in front of Chae Eun-sung. In nine games, Williams is off to a slow start, going 7-for-39 with a .179 batting average, one home run, three doubles, three RBIs, and a .533 OPS. Of his seven hits, three were doubles and one was a home run. He’s certainly shown some one-hit power. But he’s also struck out 12 times and hasn’t been able to get the ball in play.

He hasn’t gotten used to the twists and turns of KBO pitching. Even though Williams has Chae Eun-sung behind him, pitchers calculate that they can leave Williams out and face Chae Eun-sung, so they rely on changeups. Although Williams is a lefty, he is strong against lefties at .313, but he is weak against righties at .118.

In other words, he hasn”t adapted well to right-handed pitchers” outside changeups. In fact, according to Baseball-Reference, Williams has a .167 wOBA with his changeup. He’s also yet to record a hit against a curveball. On the other hand, his fastball batting average is .286, which is not bad.

Choi pointed out that Williams has an out-and-in swing on his outside changeup. If he swings in and out with a little less force, he will naturally hit it to the left side, but he hasn’t been able to do that. Of course, he’ll have plenty of time to work on it, as he’s been getting feedback from the Hanwha coaching staff. The All-Star break could be a time of maintenance for Williams.

Hanwha has bad memories of sending out their worst foreign hitter this year in Brian O’Grady. The internal consensus is that Williams is not in O’Grady’s league. Choi said he reminds him of Eric Thames in terms of his swing mechanics. Thames also had a period of side effects before bombing the KBO. He didn’t start out well.

Luckily, Hanhwa picked up his game in the last half of the first inning. There is enough room to play Williams in the bottom of the batting order. They don’t have to put too much pressure on her. With so few foreign batsmen in the lineup this year, it will be interesting to see how Williams adjusts.

It’s a race against time. Hanwha must have calculated that Williams would be able to adjust to the league in the first half of the season, and then come into his own in the second half. Getting impatient won’t make things better. We need to be patient.


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