Chae Eun-seong, who became the ‘9 billion solver’, has Hanwha’s lineup really changed?

The 2023 KBO League is still at the very beginning of the season, but attention is focused on whether players who signed large FA contracts last winter will be active. There are already various stories about the correlation between the performance of players who sign long-term contracts and receive high salaries and team performance.

Hanwha, which had the lowest win rate in the 30% range for three consecutive years until last year, is pleased with Chae Eun-seong, a free agent transfer student. Chae Eun-sung first obtained FA qualification after the end of last year’s season and transferred to the Hanwha Eagles with a six-year, 9 billion won contract. In addition to Chae Eun-seong, Hanwha recruited outside free agents Lee Tae-yang (4 years worth 2.5 billion won) and Oh Seon-jin (1+1 years total 400 million won).

Chae Eun-seong, who joined the LG Twins as a foster player in 2009 and did not even have a clear position, succeeded in signing a large-scale free agency contract and drew attention. However, there was also a view that Hanwha ‘overpaid’ Chae Eun-seong, who had never won a personal title or Golden Glove since his professional debut. 

※ Hanwha Chae Eun-seong’s major records in the last 5 seasons

However, Chae Eun-seong has been showing off his batting average since the opening with a batting average of 0.400, 3 homers, 17 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.123. On April 1, which was the opening game, he was placed as the 3rd hitter in the match against Gocheok Kiwoom Heroes, but since then he has been playing as the 4th hitter, and the trust of coach Subero is strong. 

The clutch ability to bring runners home by reviving scoring chances in the match is overwhelming. Chae Eun-seong is playing a pivotal role in the Hanwha batting line, which did not have a solver until last year. 

However, the unfortunate thing is that despite Chae Eun-sung’s fire bat, Hanwha’s team performance is still not much different from last year. Hanwha succeeded in getting out of last place with 2 wins and 1 draw in the last 3 games, but with 4 wins, 7 losses and 1 draw with a win rate of 0.364, they are in 8th place, and are only 0.5 games behind the lowest-ranked KIA Tigers. Although Hanwha has a lot of close matches, such as one-point draws or overtime, there are not many games that result in victory.

Hanwha has definitely improved its power compared to last year, but has not been able to prove its ability to overcome difficulties. This is because they cannot hide their weaknesses, such as sluggish and injured foreign players, unreliable bullpen, and undiversified scoring routes. 

Hanwha’s recruitment of three free agents is an expression of its desperation to get out of the bottom of the team’s performance. However, concerns are being raised that coach Subero, who manages loosely even in games that must be caught, does not match the direction the Hanwha team is pursuing. It is difficult to offset all the team’s weaknesses with Chae’s bat alone.

It is realistically difficult to expect that Chae Eun-seong, who plays an MVP-level performance at the beginning of the season, will continue to hit hard until the end of the season.안전놀이터 This is because all batters have fluctuations in their batting pace. Chae Eun-seong was a hitter with great ups and downs at LG until last year. If the pace fell, it took a considerable amount of time to recover. 

However, if Chae Eun-seong falls into sluggishness, Hanwha could be in an even bigger crisis. Attention is focusing on whether Chae Eun-seong, who is wielding a strong blow at the beginning of the season, will be able to lead Hanwha, who succeeded in escaping from the bottom, to a mid-ranking position.

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