Why did the NC Dinos select an outfielder instead of a first baseman as a foreign hitter?
The foreign hitter with NC in the 2023 season is Jason Martin (28). Last year, Martin played 129 games in Triple-A (Oklahoma City), a minor league affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and recorded a batting average of 0.285, 32 homers, and 107 RBIs. His strength is his one-hit long-running hit, which is tied for first place in home runs in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) with Matt Davidson (32 homers). According to his profile, he is not tall at 1m75cm, but he makes a big hit with a powerful swing that utilizes his body.
Former national team coach Kim Gyeong-moon, who received training in the minor league under the Dodgers last year, expressed his expectation, “I saw him when I went to the Dodgers. Martin is small but has punches.” NC plans to use Martin as a central hitter to add weight to the lineup. NC’s team home runs last year were 105, falling short of the league average of 109.
Martin’s signing is somewhat questionable because of his defensive position. NC played more than 5,600 innings as an outfielder in his minor league career. On the other hand, there is no experience in infield defense including first base. Unfortunately, the infield is weaker than the outfield in NC, and the ‘corner infield’ is weaker among the infield. Third base, where veteran Park Seok-min returns, is at least breathless, but as a young domestic player, first base, which needs to find an alternative, is a concern.
The fastest way to reinforce power is to recruit a foreign hitter as first baseman. However, NC used the foreign batter’s card to strengthen its strengths, not to compensate for its weaknesses. On the 18th (Korean time), NC coach Kang In-kwon, who met with this magazine at the spring camp of Tucson, Arizona, USA, said, “(Among the candidates for recruiting foreign hitters) there was a first base resource, and it was nice to see the video. 안전놀이터 I continued to talk, but another team contacted me. I think I did.” Then, when the player was asked, “Did you sign a contract with a Japanese club?”, coach Kang replied, “I think I went to Japan.”
Martin, who is digesting spring camp, is full of confidence. He said, “Andy Burns (former Lotte Giants), Mike Wright (former NC), Anthony Alford (current KT Wiz), and even Aaron Altair (former NC) cheered me on saying that I would be able to do well in the KBO league.” They told me that Korean baseball is at a high level. My biggest goal is to participate and play in every game rather than personal goals and win the team.”