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Choo Shin-soo has good batting eye amid falling batting average

Choo Shin-soo has good batting eye amid falling batting average

Posted April. 27, 2015 07:19,   


The batting average of Texas Rangers` Choo Shin-soo is falling steeply every day. Hitting nothing at two at-bats in an away game with the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, he recorded the batting average of 0.114, the lowest performance among the Texas Rangers’ batters who played on the day.

There is, however, a ray of hope, which is base on balls. The first thing that batters choose when their batting performance is low would be trying to avoid a strike and to have an umpire call balls. Seeking for drawing a base on balls is a demonstration that a batter tries to narrow down a strike zone. While Choo had a single base on balls in the previous 11 games, he drew four in the recent three games. He allowed two walks in Saturday’s game when his team lost 1-4. His strong points include that he has a good batting eye despite many strikeouts. He struck out once during the recent three games while he had 11 of them in the previous 11 games.

In the meantime, Kang Jeong-ho of the Pittsburgh Pirates has satisfied his coaching staff to some point when he had an opportunity to enter the game due to the injury of Jordy Mercer, his team’s key shortstop. Unlike Korea’s professional baseball, the Major League rarely adjusts the entry of their players unless the players have injuries or they have out of options. Prior to Mercer’s injury, local media contended that Kang should be sent to the Minor League but Pirates general manager Neal Huntington dismissed it flatly. As long as the batting average is not falling headlong to the point where the batter is on the brink of being kicked out, the 25-entry is to be guaranteed.

Adapting to the world of Major League Baseball is a task of his own. He has shown the battings of slightly different style. “Compared to the swings that he had shown in the recent low-performance games, he has smaller takebacks now. His stance and swing is much simpler than before,” analyzed Kim Yong-dal, a supporting committee member of the Korea Baseball Organization. He also said, “It is understandable that Kang showed poor performance in the beginning. Major League pitchers throw balls of 150 km or faster that have nice curve, which is rarely seen in Korean baseball. It seems that Kang has found his own solution to deal with those fireballs, which is a smaller takeback."

“We are studying to find a way how to make the best use of Kang,” Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of when Kang Jeong-ho failed to enter the game on Saturday.