“I see impatience.”
That’s how KIA Tigers manager Kim Jong-kook described Hwang Dae-in, 27, recently.
It’s been a series of days where he hasn’t been able to rebound. In 36 games, he’s batting 2-for-25 (118 at-bats) with three home runs, 18 RBIs, and a .583 OPS. He has struck out 36 times while drawing 8 walks and 2 doubles. In the month of April, he was 2-for-1, but in May, his batting average dropped even further to 2-for-9. Hwang had the hottest May of anyone at this time last month, hitting .321 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the form of a year ago.
In the meantime, KIA continued to give Hwang a chance. Like last year, he had a sluggish April, but it was hoped that would change once he found his groove. However, his inability to produce results at the plate led to shaky defense, which further dented his confidence. “He’s a player who had full-time experience last year, so he should be able to do that…” said Kim, but he also expressed hope that “if he regains his feelings, he will definitely create synergy in the center field.” However, as the slump continued until the end of May, Kim was forced to make the decision to cancel the first team.
The reason for the slump was the batting. Most of his good shots went straight to the fence, and he rarely broke the game open with a hit. He also struggled with the pitchers’ relentless pursuit of pitches outside the zone. This led to impatience at the plate. It’s time to overhaul his entire game.메이저놀이터
In addition to Hwang Dae-in, KIA has an alternative first base option in Byun Woo-hyuk. After being traded from the Hanwha Eagles at the end of last season, Byun is batting 1-for-18 with 17 doubles (in 91 at-bats), four home runs, 14 RBIs, and a .583 OPS in 32 games. While his stats aren’t much different than Hwang’s, or even lower, he’s better than Hwang in terms of his defense and ability to produce big hits when needed. However, given his lack of full-time experience and his utility role at third base, his rotation and synergy with Hwang Dae-in were considered essential before the season. If the two are in good form and in the lineup together, maximizing their long balls that can help the center field batting order is still an option.
Hwang Dae-in was a dugout cheerleader not only for his skills but also for his cheerful personality. Last year, he was loved by his teammates and led KIA to a different atmosphere and helped them reach the fall baseball season. KIA still needs a rebound from Hwang Dae-in.