“I heard that the KBO plays more of an American style of baseball. Butch think it will be a little easier to adapt. I don’t know a lot, but I’m ready to learn as much as I can.” Butch Smith’s comments on joining Hanwha on December 18, 2022
“My goal is to help the team make the playoffs, and I’m going to try to do everything I can. I want to hit a lot of home runs.”
Right-handed pitcher Butch Smith (33) and right-handed hitting outfielder Brian O’Grady (31). It’s kind of a taboo name for the Hanwha Eagles. A foreign pitcher who was highly anticipated as the No. 1 starter and a foreign hitter brought in to bat No. 4 were sent home early, leaving deep scars beyond disappointment.
Smith, who started the opening game against Kiwoom Heroes, gave up two runs in 2⅔ innings. He faced 12 batters and threw 60 pitches before walking one. 토토사이트 He is winless with a 6.75 ERA. The first game was his last.
O’Grady, who started the opener in the No. 4 spot in left field, was sent down after 22 games. He batted 1-for-2 with no home runs, eight RBIs, and 40 strikeouts.
Both players came to the KBO in 2022 after playing for the Seibu Lions.
It was hoped that their Nippon Professional Baseball experience would help them adjust to the KBO, but it didn’t take long for that hope to turn to despair.
Smith received a total of $1 million and O’Grady received $900,000 to don a Hanwha uniform. The foreign players from Seibu had Hanwha president Son Hyuk on the back foot.
Samsung Lions, LG Twins bravely bring in foreign players from Seibu.
Infielder David McKinnon, 29, whom Samsung announced the signing of on Friday. In 127 games this year, he batted .259 (120-for-464) with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs. His stats are a bit reminiscent of O’Grady. Last year, O’Grady batted .211 (86-for-404) with 15 homers and 46 RBIs in 123 games. Contact was better for McKinnon, and home runs. RBIs were similar.
McKinnon led all Pacific League foreign hitters in hits and RBIs this year. That’s a lot of power in a league with only two hitters in the triple digits. Last year, O’Grady was the only other foreign hitter in the league to reach the triple digits.
Naturally, the expectation was that he would perform better in South Korea, where pitching is weaker than in Japan. He got a $300,000 raise from his $700,000 salary.
But O’Grady showed that experience in a different league is not the same as adjustment.
There is a silver lining to O’Grady. He struck out fewer batters and had a good on-base percentage.
Samsung said, “He will quickly adapt to the KBO based on his experience in Japanese baseball.” This is similar to what Hanwha said just a year ago.
LG acquired left-handed pitcher Dietrick Enns, 32. He was signed for a total of $1 million. Last year, he went 10-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 23 games and 122⅓ innings pitched. His salary jumped from 100 million yen to 170 million yen.
After a promising second year, he crashed and burned. In 12 games, he went 1-10 with a 5.17 ERA. He pitched 54 innings, less than half of what he did last year. He had one quality start in April and one in May (6+ innings pitched, 3 earned runs or less), then struggled. After pitching well in the second team, he struggled in the first team. He became untenable.
In announcing the signing of Enns, LG said, “We expect him to adapt quickly and play a role as a first starter based on his experience in Japanese baseball.” His Japanese baseball experience was highly valued.
In a time when pitchers are screaming about the lack of quality pitching up to the major leagues, a pitcher with Japanese experience is a safe bet.
Smith pitched in 20 games and 38⅓ innings last year, going 1-4 with one save and a 3.29 ERA.
He was sidelined by injury during the season. He started as a starter and was pushed to the middle. I was worried about his injury history, but in the first game of the season, Sadal went down, sending Hanwha into a panic.
There are many examples of foreign players who have been competitive in Japanese baseball succeeding in Korea. It is clear that the failure rate of foreign players from Japan has been low. This is why KBO teams prefer foreign players who have played in Japan. However, it’s hard to say that the proof is in the pudding. There are too many variables to be too optimistic.
Hanwha will be keeping a close eye on McKinnon and Enns this season.