“The strikeout rate is a bit high, but…”토스카지노
Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said this while preparing for Changwon’s three-game series against NC late last month. In fact, Nick Williams (30), who joined Changwon in that three-game series, had 57 walks and 255 strikeouts in his major league career. He also struck out 36 times in 39 games in Triple-A with the Chicago White Sox in 2021.
Choi Won-ho said at the time that Williams would not be batting below Chae Eun-sung’s next spot in the batting order, which is the fifth or sixth spot. After much deliberation, he decided to push him between Noh and Chae. Hanwha has a weak bottom of the order, and if Williams batted in front of rookie Moon Hyun-bin, he would be targeted by the left-handed bullpen. He also believed that pitchers would have to go in front of Chae to face Williams.
Choi considered the best batting order for Williams, who has a high strikeout rate, to see as many good pitches as possible and settled on four. Chae Eun-sung was moved down to the fifth spot, where she batted from her debut against KT on 27 June to Lotte in Daejeon on 6 June, but moved to the second spot against SSG on 8 June, and then to the seventh spot against SSG on 9 June.
In other words, Williams struggled to adjust to playing in front of Chae Eun-sung. In nine games, Williams is off to a slow start, batting .179 with seven hits in 39 at-bats, one home run, three doubles, three RBIs and a .533 OPS. Of his seven hits, three were doubles and one was a home run. He’s certainly shown some one-hit power. But he’s also struck out 12 times and hasn’t been able to get the ball in play.
He hasn’t adjusted to the twists and turns of KBO pitching. Even though Williams has Chae Eun-sung behind him, pitchers calculate that they can leave him out and face Chae Eun-sung, so they rely on the changeup. Although he is a lefty, he is strong against lefties at .313, but he is weak against righties at .118, which means that he is slow to adjust to righties’ outside changeups. In fact, according to Baseball-Reference, Williams has a 0.167 wOBA on his changeup. He’s also yet to record a hit against a curveball. On the other hand, his fastball batting average is not bad at 0.286.
Choi pointed out that Williams swings out and in on his outside changeup. If he swings in and out with a little less force, he will naturally hit it to the left side, but he hasn’t been able to do that. Of course, he’s been getting feedback from the Hanwha coaching staff, so there’s plenty of time to work on it. The All-Star break could be a time of refinement for Williams.
Hanwha has bad memories of sending out one of the worst foreign hitters in the game this year in Brian O’Grady. The internal consensus is that Williams is not in O’Grady’s league. Choi said he reminds him of Eric Thames in terms of his swing mechanics. Thames also had a period of side effects before he bombed the KBO. It wasn’t all good from the start.
Luckily, Hanwha picked up his game in the last half of the first inning. There is enough room to play Williams in the bottom of the batting order. You don’t have to put too much pressure on her. There have been very few foreign batsmen this year, so it will be interesting to see how Williams adjusts.
It’s a race against time. Hanwha must have calculated that Williams would be able to settle into the league in the first half of the season and then come into his own in the second half. It’s not going to get any better if we get impatient. We need to be patient.