SSG has a strong image as a team of home runs. The team lineup takes full advantage of the relatively small size of Incheon SSG Landers Field. But it’s not just a small stadium. The team has some of the most powerful players in the league, and Han Yoo-seom, 34, is one of the spearheads.
With 29 home runs in 2017 and 41 in 2018, Han has developed into one of the league’s leading left-handed sluggers. His power was unquestioned. Everyone recognized it. He had his ups and downs with injuries, but he overcame them. In 2021, the year the team renamed him SSG and he renamed himself Han Yoo-seom, he hit 31 home runs to show that he was still a force to be reckoned with. He did his part last year, too, with 21 home runs and 100 RBIs. He was also the captain of the winning team.
This year, however, his bat didn’t go his way and he went through a frustrating period. After struggling with hamstring pain all last season, culminating in a hamstring tear in the Korean Series, Han switched to a lower-body batting form before the season. It was a way to combat the weight of his age, which was starting to take its toll, but he struggled early in the season.
He was in the first team, then dropped to the second team due to poor performance, and then brought back to the first team because he thought he had made some improvements in the second team. It was a tough time for the coaching staff and the players. It was hard to believe that by August 24, more than halfway through the season, Han’s batting average was still in the single digits (.196). The balls weren’t coming off the bat, and the long balls weren’t coming.
However, his consistent efforts are paying off at the end of the season. His batting started to pick up in late August, and in September, he’s been producing hits and long balls. In September alone, Han has been one of the best hitters in the league. In seven games in September, he leads the team with a .520 batting average, .571 slugging percentage, .680 on-base percentage, and a 1.251 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). His on-base percentage (.542) last week was the highest in the league.
He’s not in the home run race that fans have come to expect from Han Yusum. He has one home run in September. However, there is reason to believe that the home runs will slowly come. He’s finding his bat speed. Recently, he’s been hitting fastballs over 165 kilometers per hour. When this velocity is paired with the right launch angle, we could see more of him bombing the outfield bleachers given his power.
This was evident in the game against KT on Tuesday at Katie Wise Park in Suwon. Han Yoo-seom had a four-hit game on the day, helping the team to a come-from-behind win. Three of the hits were hard hits (balls hit over 152.9 kilometers per hour). According to Trackman, which provides tracking data for all nine KBO clubs, the speed of the third hit was a whopping 180.6 kilometers per hour. It was a bullet. Fewer than 10 players in the league this year have recorded an in-play bat speed (launch angle of 5 degrees or more) of 180 kilometers or more.스포츠토토
160 mph is a number that can be achieved by players with lesser power with a bit of luck. However, 170 kilometers is not a matter of luck or hitting technique. You have to be strong. Not to mention 180 kilometers. It”s a good proof that Hanyusum”s athleticism and strength are still intact. He hit 174.3 mph in the sixth inning and 162.3 mph in the ninth, giving him three hits over 160 mph on the day.
The truth is, he didn’t change much technically in September. I’m just continuing to do what I’ve been doing, and it’s starting to pay off. If so, we can look forward to what will be the most important moment for SSG. The fact that SSG’s batting lineup started to go awry this year is also related to Hanyusum’s slump. They have to figure it out themselves. Only when Hanyusum’s strength returns will SSG’s strength return.