O’Grady Strikeout Nightmare Revisited… Hanwha’s Outside Hitter with a Mask, Now Can’t Be Replaced
Striking out is usually the worst-case scenario for a batter and the best-case scenario for a pitcher. A hitter basically needs an infield hit to produce a result, such as a hit. A strikeout reduces the probability of that play to 0%. There’s no luck involved.먹튀검증
That’s why the K/BB ratio is a leading indicator of future performance for both hitters and pitchers. While there are extreme home run hitters with a low ratio, they are not likely to be successful in the long run. Something has to come off the bat. This year, Hanwha’s foreign hitters are on pace to have the worst rate ever. It’s like they’re stuck.
Heading into the season, Hanwha made a gamble by signing Brian O’Grady to replace Mike Tuckman, who had a decent season last year. Tuckman was a solid all-around player with the ball, defense, and runs, but he lacked home runs. Hanwha’s lineup lacked power, and O’Grady was expected to fill that void. However, it didn’t take long for O’Grady to be sent packing.
A .125 batting average in 22 games was a shock, but it wasn’t getting any better. Too many strikeouts. In 86 at-bats in 22 games, O’Grady struck out a whopping 40 times. That’s a 46.5% strikeout rate. It’s a small sample size, but it’s an all-time strikeout rate. Conversely, he only walked five times.
With so few strikeouts, so many walks, and so many in-play balls, there’s room to be patient with this power hitter. It’s possible that he could rebound once he gets a feel for things. However, this walk/strikeout ratio was a negative sign for O’Grady’s future, and Hanwha was forced to admit failure when they brought in a new foreign hitter, Nick Williams.
The problem is that Williams hasn’t shown any improvement in this ratio either. Through 18 games of the season, Williams is batting .189 with an OPS of .535 against SSG in Incheon on March 30. He’s hit two home runs and is still averaging a hit per game lately, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio is too bad. It’s a recipe for O’Grady nightmares.
In 18 games, Williams has 76 at-bats with 25 strikeouts. That’s a 32.9 percent rate. It’s not quite O’Grady’s level, but it’s still very high. On the other hand, he only drew one walk. His walk/strikeout ratio is 0.04, which is terrible. I know it’s a small sample size, but I can’t help but feel uneasy.
The harmful effects of striking out were also evident in the game against SSG in Incheon on the 30th. Williams, who had been batting seventh in his recent hitting slump, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. In his second at-bat, he struck out in the fourth inning with runners in scoring position, and after striking out in the sixth inning, he struck out again in the eighth inning to end the game on a bitter note.
Trailing 1-4, the eighth inning was particularly painful as it was their last chance to rally. In the top of the eighth, Hanwha’s pinch-hitter Kim In-hwan did his job with a single to right, and Ha Ju-seok followed with another single to right to put runners on first and second with no outs. It was Williams who stepped up to the plate. Trailing by three runs, it wasn’t the best time for a foreign hitter to bunt. Williams had to make something happen with an infield hit anyway.
But she couldn’t get the timing right and struck out again. The runners were essentially shut down. Williams’ strikeout put even more pressure on the batters following him, and the momentum was completely halted when Park’s well-placed grounder sailed into the glove of Choi, the third baseman. Williams looked frustrated in the dugout, but there was no turning back.
O’Grady and Williams have slightly different styles. O’Grady is a bit more of a big hitter, while Williams is considered a bit safer by comparison. His swing rate isn’t actually higher than O’Grady’s, but he’s fouling too much, which could be an indicator that he’s not quite ready for the KBO. He also still struggles with contact after 2S.
O’Grady could have made a substitution. That means there was at least some hope that the new player would be better. But now Hanwha has used up all of its foreign replacement cards. Williams has no backup and will have to adjust somehow, but his overall numbers are still far more negative, including his strikeout-to-walk ratio, bat speed, and infield hit rate. Hanwha’s farming of foreign hitters is going horribly wrong. Could a surprise turnaround happen?