Even to the eyes of one of the most prolific home run hitters in Korean professional baseball, Hanwha Eagles’ Noh Si-hwan’s power looks unusual. “It’s hard to tell he’s in his mid-20s,” he said with praise and caution.
The Doosan Bears, coached by Lee Seung-yeop, the “national hitter,” finished their three-game series against the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon on Nov. 11-13 with a 1-2 record.
The Bears started off strong with an 11-4 victory on the 11th, but fell to a 1-6 defeat the next day. The key was giving up two hits and four RBIs, including one home run, to Hanwha slugger Noh Shi-hwan.
Noh hit his 27th home run of the season against Doosan’s vaunted homegrown ace, Kwak Bin. He took a 147-kilometer fastball and smashed it over the right-center field fence. The distance was measured at 126 meters, showing the unique power of Noh’s bat.
This season, Noh has broken out of his prospect shell to become one of the best big hitters in the league. He currently leads SSG Landers’ Choi Jeong (21 home runs) by a wide margin and is cruising toward his first 30-homer season and home run crown. Hanwha’s chances of crowning a home run champion this season, which hasn’t happened since Kim Tae-gyun (31) in 2008, have never been bettered.
Manager Lee Seung-yeop praised Noh’s power and wild swing, even though he was on the opposite team the next day. Most importantly, he praised his ability to push the ball over the fence.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “Noh Si-hwan hits really well. He has a very mature swing, including the ability to drive home runs. It was good to see that he was patient with bad pitches, and when the ball was in his zone, he didn’t hesitate to swing and hit a long ball.”
Lee, who retired from active duty after the 2017 season and served as a baseball commentator until last year, has repeatedly emphasized the need for a young slugger to succeed Park Byung-ho (KT) and Choi Jeong-jeong.
In particular, he expressed his desire for a hitter like Munetaka Murakami (23-Yakult Swallows), who exploded for 56 home runs in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) last year, to emerge in Korea. He said that while the team needs special pitchers, it also needs “game changers” who can play every day and change the atmosphere of the game at any time.
The thirst for a “young big bat” in Korean baseball has been quenched by the rapid rise of Noh Si-hwan, a fifth-year pro. Coach Lee Seung-yeop believes that Noh has a lot of room to grow into a bigger player in the future.
“The best part about him is that he has the power and swing trajectory to hit over both the left and right field fences,” Lee said. “Teams facing him, like us, always feel like he’s going to hit a home run if he makes a mistake,” he explained.메이저놀이터
“You don’t see him just swinging at ridiculous pitches. He seems like a very good, very good hitter.” “I wasn’t a hard-swinging hitter when I was playing. From the pitcher’s point of view, there’s definitely an intimidation factor with hitters who take full swings because they know they’re going to get hit. I wish we had a hitter like that on our team.”