A decade after his debut in 2013, Lotte Giants shortstop Noh Jin-hyuk, 34, has faced a shocking slump, and not just in his first year of free agency.
Noh, who was drafted 20th overall by NC in the 2012 Special Designated Player Draft and served as NC’s starting shortstop through the 2022 season, made the move ahead of this season, signing a four-year, 5 billion won free agent contract with Lotte. Lotte needed a shortstop who wasn’t flashy but could play solid defense and hit for power, and Noh was the perfect fit. They made an “open run” to sign him as soon as the free agency market opened, and they did so with great dedication.
Noh seemed to live up to expectations.
Defensively, he held down the fort at shortstop, and in the batting order, he served as a link between the center and bottom of the order. He was especially strong in clutch situations early in the season, 토토사이트 becoming a fixer-upper. The home run-prone Sajik Ballpark didn’t give him the cannon he was hoping for, but he made his presence felt with clutch hits in crucial moments. Through May, he was the team’s best hitter, batting .288 with seven doubles, three home runs, 22 RBIs, and an .800 OPS. While he didn’t have the best on-base percentage at 2-for-5 (9-for-36), he showed his true colors as a “clutch hitter” by going 4-for-2 (11-for-26) with the game within two runs after the seventh inning. With Noh playing the role of fixer-upper, Lotte stayed in the top half of the standings as the two-hitter turned like a cog. But there were potential red flags. Lotte ignored them, much to their chagrin. Noh Jin-hyuk was dealing with chronic back pain. During this time, he was also dealing with a pain in his left side. He was eventually diagnosed with a sprain and left the lineup. The side pain worsened in June, as he batted just 2% (5-for-25) with three RBIs.
He was removed from the first team on June 15 and returned on July 5.
He was out for about 20 days. Noh had been struggling just before his injury, but his presence was impossible to ignore. Without him, the team went downhill. The team went 5-10 in 15 games during his absence. Afterward, Noh returned without fully recovering from his injury, and the team continued to struggle. At the most crucial point in the standings battle, Noh Jinhyeok failed to deliver. In the month of July, he went 1-for-9 (5-for-46) with four RBIs and a .326 OPS.
Lotte’s performance plummeted. The momentum was gone. Their five-game winning percentage collapsed, dropping them out of the fall baseball standings, and they never recovered. He caught fire in October, going 14-for-30 with one home run, eight RBIs, and a 1.276 OPS, but his ticket to the Fall League was already out of reach.
His final numbers for the season were 2-for-56 (86-for-334) with four home runs, 51 RBIs, and a .724 OPS in 113 games. It’s safe to say that it was his worst season in over a decade, since he broke into the big leagues in 2013. Considering what was expected of him as a free agent and his price tag, Noh’s 2023 was a disappointment.
However, it was a season that confirmed Noh’s presence on both the hopeful and despairing sides.
When he was healthy, the team was stable in the offense. Conversely, when he was out, the team’s foundation was shaken. We saw that his role in the offense was not insignificant.
You have to take into account that he played a lot of this year without fully recovering from injuries and pain, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was a disappointing season. Noh will be 35 years old next year, and he needs to prove that he can be a full-time shortstop again. With proper management, there is hope that he can continue to build on his early season performance before injury sidelines him. Kim Tae-hyung tends to put a lot of faith in his veteran players, and Noh Jin-hyuk should still be the starting shortstop. However, he will need to prove his worth as a full-time shortstop. 바카라사이트 순위 Second baseman Ahn Chi-hong, who was a keystone duo this year, will also have to take on the role of infield commander now that he has moved to Hanwha. With no idea who will take over the starting second base job, Noh Jin-hyuk will need to be the anchor in the center of the infield.
Lotte is at its best when Noh holds down the shortstop position. If he spends more time on the disabled list or at third base than at shortstop, it’s a sign that he’s struggling. The longer Lotte is frustrated, the less valuable Noh becomes.