How to use Park Hae-min, the best lineup hitter for the Tokyo Olympics?
, so he returned to the ground in the national team uniform after two years. This is the story of Park Hae-min, the LG Twins table setter.
It is Park Hae-min’s third national team uniform after the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In particular, he showed great success as a lead-off at the recent Tokyo Olympics, which was the stage for the national team. He started all seven games and went 11-for-25 with 5 RBI, 7 runs scored, and a batting average of .440 and 1.083 OPS. In particular, his on-base percentage, which is also a virtue of leadoff, was 0.563.
Although the national team did not win a medal, Park Hae-min, along with teammate Kim Hyun-soo (LG), were included in the best lineup by position for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics selected by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).
However, it is not easy to become a starter in this WBC. First of all, in center field, there is Lee Jung-hoo, who won the MVP last season. Lee Jung-hoo played 142 games, 553 at-bats, 193 hits (23 homers), 113 RBIs, 85 runs, a batting average of 0.349 and an OPS of 0.996. He also showed high WAR and wRC+ values of 9.23 and 182.5, respectively.
In addition, Lee Jung-hoo’s defense skills are as good as Park Hae-min’s. Last season, Lee Jung-hoo’s WAA for center fielders was 1.223, which was 3rd overall in the league. As a center fielder, he pitched 1155.1 innings and allowed only two errors. Moreover, his bodhisattva showed a strong shoulder with a whopping 7.
In the lead-off spot, Korean-American Tommy Hyeonsu Edman is taking his place. Edmund had a batting average of 0.269 OPS of 0.732 in 459 appearances over his four career major league seasons. He played 153 games last season as well, posting a batting average of 0.265 OPS and 0.725.
Even though it is difficult to start, Park Hae-min’s utilization is diverse. His priority defensive ability is among the top in the KBO League. Park Hae-min’s WAA (defensive win contribution) last season was overwhelmingly high in the league at 1.852. As a center fielder, he pitched 1205 innings, allowing only two errors. Besides, he is a multi-position player who can also defend first base.
He also has excellent running ability. He was the king of stolen bases for 4 consecutive years (2015-2018) in the KBO League, and also recorded 24 steals last season, recording 20 or more steals for 9 consecutive years.
Cho Bum-hyeon, head of the WBC Technical Committee, also said, “(Park) Hae-min’s skills are excellent in three beats, not only defense, but also offense and running. Besides, he has some experience with the national team. That’s why (Park) Hae-min was selected.”
Park Hae-min will faithfully fulfill his role, whether he is a starter or a backup. Can he show off the power he showed at the Tokyo Olympics at the WBC this year?