“Thorough but Flexible” Son As-seop Approaches KBO League’s ‘First of Its Kind’

Veteran Son Ah-seop (35-NC Dinos) is on pace to become the first player in KBO history to reach 150 hits in eight consecutive years.온라인카지노

Son has 144 hits this season (through 4 days). Considering he is averaging 1.35 hits per game, he is expected to set the record this week in a six-game home stand against the Kiwoom Heroes and Lotte Giants. Son had seven consecutive 150-hit seasons from 2016 to last year, tying him with Park Yong-taek (former LG Twins-2012-2018) for the all-time lead in that category.

Other notable hitters, including Choi Hyung-woo (KIA Tigers – six years in a row) and Lee Dae-ho (former Lotte Giants – four years in a row), have failed to reach the mark. Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes), who reached 150 hits for six consecutive years until last year, was also sidelined with an ankle injury in July. To achieve “150 hits for eight consecutive years,” a player must not only have exceptional hitting ability, but also consistency and good health.

NC hitting coach Song Ji-man said, “Son is a player who strictly follows a routine. “He always thinks about baseball and focuses only on baseball when he’s on the field, and I think all of those things come together to create consistency (at the plate),” he said. Song was a slugger who hit 311 home runs as a player. He hit triple digits 13 times, but only had one 150-hit season (2000 with the Hanwha Eagles). He knows better than anyone that ‘150 hits in eight consecutive years’ is difficult.

Son is a self-proclaimed “hitting machine” in the KBO. He ranks fourth on the all-time batting list with at least 3,000 at-bats (0.322). However, his batting average dropped to .277 (152 hits in 548 at-bats) last year. He arrived in an NC uniform as a free agent with high hopes, but his first season in the organization was less than satisfactory. His age, in his mid-30s, led to concerns about an aging curve, a phenomenon in which athletic performance declines after a certain age.

Son was in shape early in the year. He also took advice from Kang Jeong-ho (former Pittsburgh Pirates), who runs a baseball academy, to analyze the cause of his broken hitting mechanics and make improvements. Coach Song said, “(Last year’s poor performance) was due to a big psychological change. I joined the NC as a free agent and the environment was different, so I think I was confused from the buildup (to the season). In this year’s camp, I created an environment where I could do well psychologically,” he said. “Being the captain and trying to set an example for the juniors also seems to lead to good results. I also met with Kang Jeong-ho to talk about batting and make improvements.”

Son has a strong work ethic. When he finished the first half of the season with a .331 batting average (75 games), he said, “I’m not satisfied. I want to hit better,” he said. He tightened his sneaker laces and maintained a higher second half batting average (0.352) than the first half. Son’s record celebration doesn’t stop at “150 hits for eight consecutive years. He is now just 131 hits shy of the record for most career hits held by Park Yong-taek (2504).

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