Now it’s okay

In 2012, before he left for the Major League Baseball, Ryu Hyun-jin (37) of the Hanwha Eagles had his best season. He posted a career-high with 210 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.66.

To fans, however, Ryu’s recollection of that year was “lonely ace.” He only had nine wins and nine losses in that year, failing to achieve 10 wins for the first time since his debut. He was weak in scoring goals and supporting bullpen sessions, but he also encountered serious defense problems. Out of a total of 58 runs, non-penalty points were four, which was not high, but many of them were not recorded as errors.

For example, his FIP (Reneway without defense) was 2.40 (based on statistics), which was lower than his actual ERA. His in-play batting average (BABIP) also stood at 0.321, higher than his personal record (0.300). In other words, he became a hit due to lack of defense assistance, and took on more runs than his ability.

Ryu’s shaky defense and bad luck became a meme symbolizing the dark ages of Hanwha. He was dubbed the “happiness defense” after the lyrics of Hanwha’s cheering song, and his remarks to youth players during the broadcast, “You can’t trust your defense. You have to catch him,” drawing keen attention.

At least, chances are low that the Hanwha Eagles will bully him with defense this year. Last year, the Hanwha Eagles ranked No. 1 with 2.116 in the adjusted WAA (contribution to defense win versus average).

Infielders have improved and their players have grown bigger. Shortstop Lee Do-yoon, who played as the starting shortstop, ranked No. 1 in the entire league with a record of 1.623. Ha Ju-seok, who used to be the starting shortstop, is also regarded as one of the best in the league in terms of defense capability. Although Noh Si-hwan, the fourth batter and third baseman of the Korean national team, was also acclaimed by Choi Won-ho and Lotte Giants manager Kim Tae-hyung in defense. This year, All-Star second baseman An Chi-hong will join the team. As Jung Eun-won and Moon Hyun-bin, who previously played second base, take charge of backup, the team can expect a stronger infield than last year. As the team uses cutters and changeups as its main weapons, infield defense is expected to provide strong support.

The variable is the outfield. Hanwha is having difficulty securing a fixed center fielder since Lee Yong-kyu was the last player in 2018.

However, there is high expectation for the “beast” Kim Kang-min effect. Kim Kang-min, whom the Hanwha Eagles recruited in the second draft last year, made a name for himself as the best outfield defense in the history of the KBO League. As he is 42, he cannot display full-season defense capability like his heyday, but he is a senior who can serve as a textbook for Hanwha fielders. 토토사이트먹튀

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