It’s been a season of tangled threads. It started with a change in his off-season batting stance.
SSG outfielder Han Yoo-seom, 34, modified his batting form to reduce the risk of lower-body injuries ahead of the 2023 season. It was a 토스카지노“challenge,” as he puts it. Han is SSG’s signature “big gun,” having hit double-digit home runs in six consecutive seasons from 2017 to last year. In 2018, he hit a career-high 41 home runs. It wasn’t easy for him to change the batting stance that had worked so well for him. It was a change that he made with the intention of becoming a professional baseball player.
The results were not good. Han struggled at the plate, batting .183 with a .499 on-base percentage (OPS) in 20 games in the opening month. Even his trademark home run barrage was silent. What was supposed to be a short-lived slump turned into an unexpectedly long one. Even after returning to his normal batting form, his batting touch never returned.
Not only in the first half, but also in the second half, his bat was silent. By July, Hanyusum had played in 61 games with a meager .184 batting average, .528 OPS, and two home runs. Two second-team assignments and a lost captaincy later, it was a brutal summer for Han. He slowly turned things around in August. He let go of the pressure and focused on making contact, awakening his dormant senses one by one.
SSG outfielder Han Yoo-seom hits a game-winning single against Samsung Electronics last month. Courtesy of SSG
SSG outfielder Han Yoo-seom is doused with water after his game-winning hit against Samsung Electronics on March 12. Courtesy of SSG
Han Yoo-seom hit a game-winning single off reliever Oh Seung-hwan in the bottom of the 10th inning of an extra-inning game against Samsung Electronics in Incheon on March 12, giving the team a 3-2 victory. He went 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and one run scored that day, showing the true colors of the returning “Fixer.
After coming alive last month with a .286 batting average and .804 OPS in 16 games, Han’s bat has been even hotter in September. With three or more hits in three of his seven games this month, Han is batting .520 in September. He also had a four-hit game against Suwon KT on September 10, revitalizing the SSG batting lineup that has been slumping lately.
Despite his recent hot streak, Han is hitting just .234 with a .645 OPS this season. That’s a long slump. In the meantime, the team has struggled as well. SSG has slumped to fifth place in the league, exposing its problems in the second half of the season, including two-hit streaks. A little late, but just when they needed it, Hanyusum returned.