The replacement foreign batsman Hanwha has been waiting for is finally in Korea. “I can’t wait to see him,” said Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho.
Nick Williams, 30, a 31-homer outfielder in the Major League Baseball who signed a contract with Hanwha for a total of $450,000 on the 꽁머니 18th, arrived in Korea on the evening of the 22nd. After completing a medical checkup at Sejong Sports Orthopedics on the 23rd, Williams will travel to Daejeon, where he will meet with the team before traveling to Changwon for the away game against NC on the 24th.
Coach Choi Won-ho said of Williams, “I can’t wait to see him, so I’ll start by watching him train for about two days in Changwon. If there is nothing wrong with his body and he is in good shape, he will go straight to the first team from next week. He came from playing (in Mexico), so there is no need for a second team game. He’ll be fine after about four days of jet lag.” Williams is expected to make his KBO debut against KT in Daejeon on April 27.
Choi said, “I’ve only seen him hit on video. I want to check something while watching him train in person,” Choi said. “He says he has some power, but when I look at his record, he doesn’t have many stolen bases. I don’t know if he’s not playing on purpose or not. We’ll have to see what he’s doing and then hear from him.”
Williams has just four stolen bases in 294 games over four seasons in the majors, but he’s no slouch. In the minors, he stole 58 bases in 664 games over eight seasons. In the last two years, he has stolen seven bases in the Mexican League, six last year and one this year.
The reason Choi is curious about Williams’ ability to steal bases is closely tied to the batting order. “When you steal a base in the middle of the order and get thrown out, it kills the mood,” Choi said. The data shows that your chances of scoring are incredibly low. Personally, I don’t like to run in front of the center field line.” With Hanwha’s batting lineup, which doesn’t have a lot of power hitters, the risk of stealing bases in front of Noh and Chae Eun-sung is high.
So Choi tries to put players who can steal bases behind the center field lineup, in the five spot and beyond. “If Williams is such a mainstay that we can give him the green light, then No. 5 is better than No. 2. If he’s not that good, then No. 2 is better,” Choi said.
This is also why Choi has been batting long-hitting Kim In-hwan in the No. 2 spot lately. Choi, who has emphasized the need for a strong No. 2 hitter since 메이저토토 taking over, has also started Kim In-hwan in the No. 2 spot in five games. Kim batted second for three straight games against the Kia Motors in Daejeon on April 20-22, going 4-for-14 with a home run, two doubles, six RBIs and three runs scored. In the 21st game, he hit a two-run single in the third inning and a game-winning double in the fifth.
Choi said, “I’m going to try to keep Kim In-hwan in the second spot in the batting order until this week. If he’s not available, Williams can bat second,” Choi said. “I think we can put pressure on our opponents by anchoring the batting order with hitters with long-hitting tools from No. 1 (Lee Jin-young) to No. 5. “We have guys like Moon Hyun-bin and Chung Eun-won who are mobile and can play the bottom of the order. It will be good to separate the roles of the top and bottom of the order.”