When will Kang be able to say for sure who his first baseman will be for the 2024 season?
NC Dinos head coach Kang In-hwa was asked a number of questions about his plans for the season. There were some things he could talk about right away, but there were some things he couldn’t easily answer. This was the case with the first base position, which is also linked to foreign players.
Currently, NC is the only one of the 10 teams that hasn’t finalized a contract for a foreign hitter. They parted ways with Jason Martin, who batted .283 (123-for-435) with 17 home runs, 90 RBIs and an .815 OPS in 118 games last year. They didn’t even put him on the disabled list. They’re keeping him as a last resort, but it’s unlikely they’ll sign him.
On the surface, he has performed well. No injuries, except for a side injury in the opening four games that sidelined him for a month. However, after returning from injury, he took time to adjust and was inconsistent throughout the season. He was expected to hit long balls, but his performance was below expectations. After September, when he was fully analyzed by scouts, he was just 2-for-30 (123 at-bats) with three home runs, 23 RBIs, and a .692 OPS.
The consensus was that the foreign player market was bad, 바카라사이트 and the hitter was even worse. It was a tough choice to give up on a proven hitter who had been tested for both myung and cancer, and the trust in Martin had diminished both inside and outside the organization.
NC decided not to re-sign Martin and started looking for a foreigner to play first base.
First base was NC’s most troublesome position last year. During the review process, manager Kang Myung-ho also expressed his disappointment with the offense of the first base position. As of last year, left-hander Oh Young-soo (61 games) and right-hander Yoon Hyung-joon (57 games) were the platoon players, while Do Tae-hoon (23 games), Park Seok-min (2 games), and Choi Bo-sung (1 game) started at first base. However, all of them fell short of expectations. It was a position that required long balls, and their long balls were not up to standard.
Prospect Oh Young-soo failed to make the step-up, batting just 2-for-33 with six doubles (49 in 208 at-bats), four home runs, 24 RBIs, and a .651 OPS in 70 games. Yoon Hyung-jun also had a disappointing 82 games, batting 2-for-5 (218 at-bats) with five home runs, 27 RBIs, and a .676 OPS. Not good enough. Their WAR at first base was -0.07, ranking ninth in the league, according to Statistic. This was the reason why NC was looking at various positions for foreign players, but first base was a priority.
However, the market was not favorable.
Eventually, the team expanded its search to include all foreign hitters, including first baseman, a position that Kang had no easy answer for. It became a situation where the first baseman was different depending on the position of the foreign player. In the best case scenario, a foreign player at first base would be the best option, but bringing in a player from the outfield would drastically change the positions of Korean players.
Kwon Hee-dong’s move to first base is also being considered because of the aforementioned sluggishness and slow growth of first base players. Coach Kang said, “No matter how much I look for a hitter who can play first base, Kwon Hee-dong is the only one. Kwon Hee-dong has also played infield in the amateur ranks,” he said, adding, “I hope Oh Young-soo will grow up quickly, but it seems to be a bit slow. I think we need a player who can play first base while Young-soo develops, so I’m thinking of Kwon Hee-dong as a first baseman.”
The team is also considering moving Kwon to first base to give younger outfielders a chance.
“If Kwon Hee-dong goes to first base, it will give the younger outfielders a chance, so we are considering that as well,” Kang added.
In order for all the plans to be finalized, a foreign bat will have to be decided. However, it seems that the decision is not far off. 토토사이트 추천 At the club’s New Year’s party on January 8, Kang Myung-hyun said, “The decision on a foreign batsman has been delayed, but the club is watching closely. I think we’re in the final stages. I’m cautious to say when and who we’ll sign,” he said, adding, “But I’m looking at the most talented players in any position we’re in contact with. I hope you can wait a little longer.”