Former Hanwha foreign player’s big breakthrough… Why Hanwha fans love it, and why Yankees fans hate it too

Outfielder Mike Tuckman (33, Chicago Cubs), who signed with Hanwha in the KBO last year amid reports that he had all three bases covered, was not re-signed after the season. Hanwha also had a re-signing scenario in mind for Tuckman, but the two sides differed on terms.

Tuckman hit .289 with 12 home runs, 43 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases in 144 games last year. Rather than matching Tuckman’s asking price, Hanwha opted to find a new foreign hitter to fill the team’s need for power. Brian O’Grady, 31, did just that.먹튀검증

Despite the good intentions, it turned out to be a bad idea. O’Grady struggled to hit the ball and was eventually dropped after an embarrassing slump that saw him strike out 40 times in 80 at-bats. He batted just .125 in 22 games for the season. Not a single home run was expected.

Tuckman, on the other hand, eventually realised his dream of returning to the major leagues after a promising start to the season. After signing a minor league deal with the Cubs, Tuckman was called up in May after a strong showing at Triple-A. Since his call-up, he’s been nothing short of spectacular. As of the 5th, he’s batting .297 with four RBIs in 15 games this season. His on-base percentage is down, but his slugging percentage is up to a whopping .438.

The Rangers are now in a position where they can’t bring him back even if they wanted to. For Hanwha fans who have seen O’Grady at his worst, Tuckman’s name will be missed. But Hanwha fans aren’t the only ones. New York Yankees fans also miss Tuckman.

After making his major league debut with Colorado in 2017, Tuckman was traded to the Yankees in 2019, where he played for two and a half years before being traded to San Francisco in 2021. In 141 games with the Yankees, he batted .266 with a .353 on-base percentage. His OPS was 0.798, which was 14% better than the league average during that time. His hustle and solid defence made him a fan favourite. He also filled in nicely for Giancarlo Stanton during his injury absence.

But the Yankees believed that someone else could do Turkman’s job, so he left the team, and they didn’t even consider signing him after he was released by San Francisco. But the Yankees have been strangely unable to find an answer in left field since Turkman’s departure. That makes it all the more frustrating that Tuckman is playing so well for the Cubs.

Yankees fan community Yankees Go Yard highlighted Tuckman’s performance with the Cubs, noting the franchise’s history in the outfield: “Tuckman’s performance in his opportunity with the Cubs has been impressive. He already has a Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 0.6 after 31 at-bats. That’s higher than (starting shortstop) Anthony Volpi’s WAR, not to mention the cacophony of the Yankees’ left field failures.

“Should they have kept Tuckman under contract after the 2020 season?” he asked, “The Yankees had faith in Jake Bauers and could have gotten a lot out of Willie Calhoun. The Yankees may not have had a solution (to the positional logjam) at the time, but passing on this guy (Tuckman), probably at AAAA, is going to keep them up at night.

The Yankees have a hole in the outfield, with Aaron Hicks, the team’s high-profile outfielder, being released early after struggling, and most of their left fielders have near-zero or negative WAR. It’s a shame because Tuckman could have been an option for a major league team, if not necessarily a full-time one. Tuckman’s history with the Yankees and Hanwha has been one of just enough to keep, but not too much to throw away.

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