Little Themes with a Gum Smile? Hanwha Dynamite Prepares for a Big Blast
“The power looks weak, but it’s similar to Tames’ swing mechanics.”
Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho felt a little like Thems on the field where Thems made history. Could newcomer Nick Williams, 30, be the final nail in the coffin for Hanwha’s dynamite batting lineup?
Williams, who was brought in to replace Brian O’Grady, signed for a total of $450,000 ($150,000 signing bonus, $250,000 salary, $50,000 incentive) on April 18. Williams, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, was selected by the Texas Rangers in the second round, 93rd overall, of the 2012 draft. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in July 2015 and made his major league debut in 2017. In four seasons, he batted .251 (210-for-836) with 31 home runs, 110 RBIs and a .727 OPS in 294 games.
The last two years have been spent in Mexico. Last year with Toros de Tijuana, he batted .317 (118-for-319) with 29 homers, 72 RBIs and a 1.172 OPS in 84 games. This year, he batted 3-for-44 (181-for-55) with nine home runs, 28 RBIs and a .909 OPS in 44 games. He crossed the Pacific Ocean this year with an offer from Hanwha.메이저놀이터
Won Ho Choi gave Williams a pass on his first impression. “When I see him batting and fielding, he seems to be better than what I saw on the video,” Choi said, “He lacks power, but his hitting mechanics are similar to Eric Thames.” Thames is the most impactful foreign player in the KBO in just three years. In 2015, he hit 40 home runs and 40 doubles and won the MVP award. In three seasons, the legendary foreign hitter batted .344/.451/.472 with 124 home runs, 382 RBIs, 64 doubles, and an OPS of 1.172. Choi may have been stating his expectations, but it’s also a testament to Williams’ ability.
Choi plans to test Williams’ abilities one day at a time. “Tomorrow (Aug. 25), I’m going to do a sprint test to see how his speed compares to our players, and I’m also going to check his throwing strength while playing catch,” Choi said.
With the ability to play all three outfield positions, Williams has the ability to play all three outfield positions. With the current combination of Moon Hyun-bin in center field and Lee Jin-young in right field on the rise, there is no reason to change their positions. For now, Williams is expected to play left field. Choi explained Williams’ tentative position by saying, “I think the basics are good when you look at the way he follows the ball and catches it,” adding, “I think it’s right to see him in left field.”
For now, he’ll have to make up for it with his bat rather than his defense. With the duo of Noh Si-hwan and Chae Eun-sung, and the long-hitting table-setter combination of Lee Jin-young and Kim In-hwan, the team has a top-of-the-order batting lineup. In June, the team is ranked fourth in batting average (.267) and fourth in OPS (.746). Add to that the power of Williams’ bat and you have a recipe for success. With Williams in the middle of the order, the batting order becomes even more cohesive.
“It’s the batting that counts,” said Choi, who is struggling to decide where to place Williams in the batting order. For now, he’s considering batting her in front of Chae Eun-sung, who has the best production and skills on the team. Choi said, “There is no one on the team with better hitting skills than (Chae) Eun-sung. Eun-sung has the best hitting skills. (Noh) Si-hwan is also benefiting from having Eun-sung in front of him, and In-hwan is also benefiting from having Si-hwan in front of him.”
Courtesy of the Hanwha Eagles
“I think Williams would be fine with Eun-sung in front of her. She has to hit the winning ball in front of her. We need to see what he can do, but he has a high strikeout rate on record, so I think he’s going to be swayed by pitches in play.” “If we bat Noh Si-hwan, Williams, and Chae Eun-sung, we can keep the battles up front and give Eun-sung a chance. Eun-sung is a player who has the ability to make contact with pitches,” he said, explaining his ideal batting order.
Williams is ready to show his fighting spirit with a toothy grin. “I met Thames when I played Milwaukee in my rookie season (2017). I knew him as a legendary player in the KBO, but when I met him, he was a really nice guy.” “He hit the ball almost like he was smashing it,” he says. That’s why I was impressed,” he said, introducing his relationship with Themes.
“The ability to hit is important, but now I think it’s important to showcase the plays I’ve made on the field. I was taught from a young age that baseball is about having fun and respecting each other.” “I’m an aggressive, combative player. I’m competitive and I think I can bring that to the field. I wasn’t the biggest player on the team, but I don’t think I lacked power. I think I can hit line drives,” he said, adding that he is determined to become a hitter on par with Thames.