“He’s a ‘special A’ hitter if you look at this season alone.”
Hanwha Eagles infielder Roh Si-hwan, 23, has been the most decorated player this season. His 30th home run of the season puts him in a commanding lead in that category. In the past four seasons, Noh has only hit 37 home runs in his career, but this year, he’s already hit 30 in just one season. A new giant is born.
Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho, who met with reporters before the team’s away game against the Kiwoom Heroes at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Tuesday, said, “Noh Si-hwan is a ‘special A’ hitter based on his performance this season. He is on the verge of reaching 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, which are typical of a long hitter.” Noh has 30 home runs and 96 RBIs as of Oct. 10.
Choi Jeong (SSG Rangers), the KBO’s leading long ball hitter, reached 100 RBIs when he won the home run title with 35 homers in 2021. Another long ball hitter, Park Byung-ho (KT Wiz), had 98 RBIs when he won the home run title with 35 homers in 2022. If his performance this season is any indication, Noh could be one of the best sluggers in the league.
It wasn’t just an explosion of potential. He changed his mindset and made some changes to his batting stance to match. “I changed my hitting style,” he said. Before that, I was a passive hitter, trying not to strike out. My signature is to take a strong, cool swing, but I was striking out a lot, so I switched to hitting for contact. I went behind my hitting point,” he recalls.
But he quickly changed his mind. “But when I thought about my goal in baseball, I wanted to be a ‘home run hitter’. To become a home run hitter, you have to strike out a lot, and I was afraid of that. I realized that I needed to change my style, so during the off-season, I practiced with a swing that pulled my hitting point forward to create a long ball, and it’s working well, so that’s good.”
It was a risky endeavor. Noh hit .281 with six home runs in 115 games last year, which wasn’t bad, but he was a triple threat at the time, and when he made some changes to his batting stance, he ended up hitting in the double digits late in the season.
Nevertheless, he made the change. “I felt a lot of things at that time. I realized that I shouldn’t change my batting stance, so instead of changing my stance too much, I focused on my hitting points,” he said.안전놀이터
“It was a challenge that I didn’t know how it would turn out, but I don’t think I would have regretted it even if I failed. My goal was to be a home run hitter. I had the confidence to make the change. I knew that if I continued my baseball career this way, I would regret it. I’m a big, strong guy, and there’s no point in being a hitter who only hits singles. I wanted to be a home run hitter no matter what.”
Noh’s determination and execution finally led him to his first home run title. If he wins the title this season, he will become the first player in his 20s to do so in six years since Choi Jeong (29) in 2017.