This season, LG is leading the Korean baseball league in batting average, ERA, and stolen bases, and is poised to win its first championship in 29 years.
At the centre of the ‘twin legion’ new wind is the strongest table setter Hong Chang-ki (30).메이저놀이터 She leads the team in contributions, outperforming the centre hitter and aces.
Through 21 days of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League, Hong leads the team in two batting categories. He leads in runs scored (83) and slugging percentage (4-for-4). He also ranks fourth in batting average (3.32 ppg) and third in hits (127), the highest among LG players.
According to baseball statistics site Statiz, Hong is seventh overall in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) this year at 4.49. As a hitter, he ranks fifth. Both are LG’s highest rankings.
Hong had his best year in 2021. Playing in all 144 games, he batted 32.8 (4th), drove in 103 runs (2nd), and hit 172 (5th).
He also won his first individual title since joining the club in 2016. Hong ranked first in slugging percentage in 2021 with 4.056. His 109 strikeouts (1st) and 16 balls hit to the body (2nd) were also achieved in tandem with Chung Seong-guan.
LG’s Hong Chang-ki enjoyed the best year of his career in 2021 and won the Golden Glove for outfielders. Yonhap News
However, Hong faltered last year. In 118 games, he batted just 2-for-8 with 76 runs scored and 125 hits. His OPS dropped to 3.9 as he played fewer games.
However, Hong has bounced back this year. The team is sitting atop the standings, seven games ahead of second-place KT.
This year, Hong could even win his first career top scorer title. In 2021, Hong finished second in runs scored, four behind Koo Ja-rook (Samsung). As a table-setter, on-base percentage and runs scored are important metrics. However, Hong had to settle for the top spot in slugging percentage.
This year, however, she has an advantage in the scoring race. Hong has played nine fewer games than the runner-up, Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom). With 40 games remaining for LG and 31 for Kiwoom, Hong’s chances of becoming the top scorer are relatively higher. Second-placed Choi Jung (SSG) has 72, so the gap is small.
Hong is batting 2-for-7 in his last 10 games. However, he still has a slugging percentage of over 4 per cent and has scored 11 runs. Going back to August, he’s batted 3 for 32 with 8 RBI and 19 runs scored in 16 games.
LG is challenging to win the Korean Series for the first time in 29 years, and as the twin legion’s dreams are ripe, Hong Chang-ki is also raising his chances of winning a multi-crown.