Coach Lee Kang-cheol’s choice of offensive use of the strongest keystone was forward placement.
Tommy Hyeon-su Edman (28, St. Louis Cardinals) and Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres) batted first and second, respectively, in a practice game against the Orix Buffaloes. Edmon had no hits in 4 at-bats, and Ha-seong Kim had 1 hit in 4 at-bats.
The forward placement of the two players was expected to some extent. Edmon’s hitting ability, which recorded 150 hits, double-digit homers and 30 steals for two consecutive years in the 2021-2022 season, was a performance worthy of the title of’Big League’. Kim Ha-seong, who recorded 130 hits and 11 home runs last year, is also a hitter who can show his ability as a solver in the second spot.
Coach Lee’s use of the two players as lead-offs against Orix can be interpreted in another way. Although Edmon and Ha-seong Kim played an exhibition game at their team’s spring camp, the pitchers they met in the match against Orix were different from the fastball-oriented big league pitchers. In the first round of Group B of the finals, Japan, the Czech Republic, and China, excluding Australia, are likely to have similar types of pitchers. Coach Lee’s placement of the two players forward can be interpreted as meaning that he should adapt to the pitchers’ balls more at bats in front, as they joined the team later than other players.
If so, will Edmon and Ha-seong Kim continue to play the role of table setters in the first round of the finals? 스포츠토토
Edman is far from your typical leadoff. Since 2019, when he started his big league career, his on-base percentage has stayed in the early to mid-30s. On the other hand, in the lower batting order, he showed that he played the role of a link by utilizing his clutch ability. It is worth recalling his performance in St. Louis in the second half of last year, when he showed a good performance mainly by being placed in the lower batting order.
Kim Ha-seong is a hitter with quick feet and a good sense for running bases. These strengths acted as an important factor in establishing a position in San Diego last year, synergizing with the improvement of the pioneering eye and clutch ability. He can play the role of a practical solver, not just the number 2 of the center line and the link role. Considering his starting point and on-base ability, it is worth entrusting him with a leadoff spot depending on his condition on the day of the game.
In addition to these two, the national team has another lead-off feeling, Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes). After joining the national team, Lee Jung-hoo has maintained a good hitting feeling. In the match against Orix, he is the only national team hitter to record multiple hits, continuing the trend. It is worth pointing out that coach Lee placed Lee Jung-hoo forward in the practice game at the Arizona camp earlier to test the possibility of a leadoff. In addition, there are many resources that can be used depending on the situation, such as Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom), who showed good hitting throughout the Arizona camp, and Park Hae-min (LG Twins), who has long experience as a table setter.
The outcome of the short-term match depends on the flow and condition. Multiple uses can be promoted, and combinations can be enriched if there are alternative resources. Attention is focused on the choice of coach Lee and the national team coaches ahead of the final match.