Jose Pirela, who shared MVP honors with Lee Jung-hoo last year.
A filial outfielder with both skill and character, it must have been difficult to part with him. The team needed to find a reliable outfielder.
But the market was not easy. In many ways, the market for foreigners was shrinking.
The Samsung Lions had their eyes set on Japan.
Once again, they believed in the myth of the NPB success story of David Buchanan, Albert Suarez, Pirela, and others who broke the foreigner dark ages.
The choice was David McKinnon, 29, from the Seibu Lions. On the 15th, the team announced his signing for a total of 1 million dollars, including a 100,000-dollar signing bonus and a 900,000-dollar annual salary.
In the midst of a shortage of outfielders, they made the right choice. In many ways, he had all the prerequisites for a ‘jackpot’.
First of all, he is young, born in 1994, and has an imposing figure of 1m88, 90kg, and has strength and quickness.
His major league record is dismal. 바카라사이트 In just one season in 2022, he went 7-for-50 (.140) with six RBIs and a .368 OPS in 22 games.
In 357 career minor league games, he’s 2-for-9 with 36 homers and 210 RBIs.
Of note are his last two years of stats.
In 79 Triple-A games in 2022, he was 289-for-92 (.318) with 15 homers, 54 RBI, 53 runs scored, a .416 OPS and a .585 slugging percentage. He has a nearly 1 percent gap-to-gap rate, and his power is impressive.
In 2023, he moved to Japan and played 127 games for the Seibu Lions, hitting .259 with 120 hits in 464 at-bats, 15 home runs, 50 RBIs, and 50 runs scored. He had a .327 on-base percentage and a .401 slugging percentage, making him the centerpiece of a weak offense in a pitcher-heavy Pacific League. Wins Above Replacement (WAR) 2.1.
Over the past year, he’s acclimated to Japanese baseball. Naturally, he was expected to stay in Japan, either with Seibu or another team.
Seibu, with its tight financial situation, was not willing to make a bet that McKinnon was satisfied with, so Samsung aggressively pursued him. The team made a full bet of $1 million, the maximum limit for a new foreigner, and succeeded in signing him. The unfavorable odds against the Japanese team were also a factor in Seibu’s success. The Korean Lions beat the Japanese Lions.
McKinnon was well worth it.
According to Samsung, “He is a medium to long range right-handed hitter with good vision and contact ability who can play solid first and third base defense. With his diligent work ethic and Japanese baseball experience, he is expected to adapt quickly to the KBO.” In fact, he has the potential to be an offensive version of Darin Ruff, who was the symbol of the Hyoja outfit.
He is more aggressive than Ruff, who was an excellent leadoff hitter and enjoyed fighting ball counts, but he also has a good on-base percentage. He also has a good on-base percentage, with a similar on-base and slugging percentage.
It’s not like he doesn’t have power. He’s a self-described middle-of-the-order hitter, but with the hitter-friendly Lions Park factor, 20+ home runs shouldn’t be out of the question. He’s strong on fastballs and takes a solid full swing.
Add to that the fact that his defense is more than just rough.
He plays a wide range of positions at first base and has a 6.5 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), which measures his contribution to preventing runs. That’s good for first base in the Pacific League. His quickness allows him to play solid defense at third base. He’s reminiscent of corner infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk.
Offensive Ruff + Ryu Ji-hyuk. This seems to be enough to replace Pirela.
Only a quick adaptation to the Korean baseball style, which is slightly different from Japanese baseball, will be the gateway to superlative performance.