Byun Woo-hyuk (23‧KIA), a right-handed bat who was acquired from Hanwha in a two-for-two trade before the season, had an up-and-down start to the season. At times, he showed off his flashy swing, but at other times, he struggled with his batting average.
In April, Byun’s OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) was 0.639, and in May, it was 0.527. He didn’t strike out often, but it was clear that the ball wasn’t coming off the bat. The first-team coaching staff, including KIA head coach Kim Jong-guk, was well aware of his talent for long balls, so he wasn’t sent to the second team, but with other players in the lineup, it was hard to put him in the lineup every day. It seemed like it was going to happen카지노.
However, after Hwang Dae-in, who was struggling with his batting, went to the second team, Byun Woo-hyuk started to establish himself in the first team. The steady playing time gave him psychological stability, and he began to get a feel for the game, hitting and running consistently in every game, even if he wasn’t explosive.
After hitting a home run against Gwangju NC on June 18, Byun Woo-hyuk continued his recent momentum with a crucial three-run homer against Hanwha in Daejeon on June 20. According to Trackman, which provides tracking data for all nine KBO clubs, the home run was hit at a whopping 173.6 kilometers per hour. It was a demonstration of Byun’s raw power, and it also proved that he could send the ball over the fence at any time if the pitch was right.
Manager Kim Jong-kook was also pleased with Byun’s uptick in hitting. The team sacrificed two pitchers and received a valuable resource in return. It was clear that this was a resource the team needed to nurture. “His swing mechanics are a little different,” Kim said after the series against Hanwha. There are some things that I felt again, but first of all, it should be a certain amount of contact rather than a long hit, and I think such players thought about it because they have a long hit. He explained the difference by saying, “I feel like I have a quieter timing.
Kim continued, “Before that, there were parts of my swing where I was trying to hit hard, but now I feel that my balance and upper and lower body are moving a little quietly. I think he’s thinking about making contact.” Aside from the number of strikeouts, Kim appreciates Byun’s initiative. He said that with the power he has, he expects a long ball to come at any time if he makes contact.
It was clear that the water was slowly getting into Byun’s boat, and Kim gave him a chance to paddle. He’s started all six of the team’s last games, even if the transition from pinch-hitter to leadoff was unavoidable. Even when he had to bunt with runners on first and second, Kim trusted his ability to handle the situation.
Woo-hyuk Byun has also been living up to the expectations of the bench, posting a .919 OPS in June. His batting average in June was a respectable .324, and he added five four-baggers to push his on-base percentage over four percent (.405). However, he was cut short by an injury.
Byun appeared in a game against the Gwangju KT on the 24th, but felt pain in his left Achilles tendon while running the bases in the sixth inning and had to leave the game. A medical examination revealed that it wasn’t a serious injury, but he was still in pain and couldn’t play right away, so he was removed from the roster on the 25th.
When things are going well, injuries are the last thing a player needs to worry about. Byun Woo-hyuk had been confident in his physical condition this year, especially his back, which had been bothering him, but this time it was in an unexpected place. It’s also a setback for the coaching staff, who have been patiently pushing Byun Woo-hyuk in recent years.
With Hwang Dae-in back in the lineup, expect to see Choi Won-jun or Ryu Ji-hyuk at first base. By the time Na Sung-bum and Kim Do-young return, Kim Sun-bin is out, and Byun Woo-hyuk is also out. Kia still doesn’t have the 100% lineup it wants.