The Hanwha Eagles have been through the worst period for the past three years. It did not exceed 50 wins for three consecutive seasons (46 wins – 49 wins – 46 wins), and the team’s win rate stayed in the 30% range. It is impossible to pinpoint one cause of the dark ages, but it is undeniable that the collapse of the outfield had a major impact.
In 2020, Hanwha’s team outfielder batting WAR (contribution to victory over substitute player) suffered the humiliation of recording the first negative value in KBO league history at -0.30 (based on stats). Nevertheless, after the season, Lee Yong-gyu (WAR 2.21), who had the best performance among outfielders in the team, was released.
In 2021, Hanwha’s outfield recorded more disastrous results as feared. The team’s outfield batting WAR recorded a whopping -3.81, breaking the KBO’s worst record in a year. The sluggishness of the outfielders reduced the team’s victory by about 4 wins.
Last year, Hanwha recorded a team outfield batting WAR of 3.41. It seems to have changed compared to the previous two seasons, but it still stayed at the bottom of the 10 clubs. There was also quite a gap with 9th place KT (WAR 7.22). Looking more closely, Tuchman (WAR 4.98) struggled alone, but he still couldn’t stop the outfield brutality. Yoo Sang-bin (WAR 0.16), who only played in 17 games, was second in WAR among outfielders on the team, following Tuckman.
Hanwha, which recorded the worst performance for three consecutive years, boldly opened its wallet in this Stove League and worked hard to strengthen the outfield, which was a weakness. Last year, he played most of the games as a first baseman, but he recruited free agent Chae Eun-seong (up to 9 billion won in 4 years), who can play right field. As a foreign hitter to replace Tuchman, he signed a contract with O’Grady (total value of $900,000), who has strength in center field defense.
After signing contracts with pitcher Lee Tae-yang (4 years, 2.5 billion won) and infielder Oh Seon-jin (1+1 years, 400 million won) to fill the free agent recruitment limit, Hanwha also recruited Lee Myung-gi, who was released as a free agent through a signing and trade format. All the outfield positions, which had been the biggest concern for the past three years, were immediately filled with a sense of power. 먹튀검증
Lee Myung-gi suffered a sluggish performance last year, and it is a question mark how quickly O’Grady will adapt to the new league. However, even if they record at least average level of performance, it is worth looking forward to than the Hanwha outfield, which has been negative in the meantime. For the existing outfielders who got a chance to play despite their sluggish performance, it is a stimulus to the competition for survival. General manager Son Hyuk and head coach Subero are also focusing on limitless competition and strengthening depth in this spring camp.
Attention is focusing on whether Hanwha, which has had a busier stove league than ever before, will be able to shake the league game by overcoming the outfield cruelty and succeeding in rebounding.