“It’s good to have a lot of hits.”
For Yang Seok-hwan (32-Dusan Bears), 2021 was a turning point in his baseball career.
After joining the LG Twins in 2014, he made a name for himself as a long ball hitter, hitting 14 homers in 2017 and 22 in 2018.
After returning from military service with the Commerce, he hit three home runs in 40 games in 2020.
In 2021, the “Jamsil Rival” trade included Yang Seok-hwan. Along with Yang, Doosan acquired pitcher Nam-ho and sent pitcher Ham Deok-ju to LG.
Yang had a strong first year. He hit 28 home runs and became the team’s top home run hitter. He also hit 20 arches in 2022, although he said he took a dip.
This season, he’s still on pace for 20 home runs. He had 17 homers by the 22nd.
Moving to LG, Ham Duk-ju has shaken off his injury-plagued past two years to go 4-4 with four saves and a 1.50 ERA in 55 games this season.
While Ham has been a key part of LG’s bullpen, Yang has been even more valuable to Doosan over the past three years.
Yang will be eligible for free agency for the first time in his career after this season. There is already talk of him being on the radar of several teams in need of a center fielder.
For him, 20 home runs for three consecutive years could be a symbolic number to make his value clear. Yang put his home run aspirations aside on April 22 against the Gochuk Kiwoom Heroes.
In the top of the first inning, Yang stood at first base with runners on second and third. He took the second pitch he saw from Kiwoom starter Kim Sun-ki and lined it over the third baseman. Two runners crossed the plate, and Yang settled in at second base. In the fifth inning, Yang led off with a single and added another RBI.
It was Yang’s ninth game-winning hit of the season as Doosan won 6-1. Doosan head coach Lee Seung-yeop praised Yang’s leadoff hit in the first inning.
After the game, Yang said, “I’ve been hitting too badly in the scoring zone lately, so I tried to focus on the context a little more than greed,” adding, “Fortunately, I was able to follow the left field line and it paid off.”
The bat has also started to click, with Yang going 3-for-5 in his last five games. “I was hitting it well, but a lot of times it was going straight at me or getting caught,” Yang said. I focused on getting a hit while concentrating on the pitch rather than trying to hit a home run.”
The game-winning hit was also a personal milestone for Yang. After finishing the season with 99 hits last year, it was his first triple-digit hit in two years.
He didn’t hit a home run, but he proved his worth once again by coming through in the clutch.
“Actually, as a starter, 100 hits doesn’t mean much,” 스포츠토토 Yang said. But it’s good to have a lot of hits, so I’ll try to hit more in the future,” Yang said.
On the 22nd, Doosan won 6-1 against Kiwoom, restoring its five-game winning percentage. They remained in fifth place. The game also saw the return of the ‘15.2 billion catcher’ Yang Ji-do, who will play in the remaining games.