‘15.59 Billion’ Is this a bubble, NO! Look at the ‘ML top tier’ hitting metrics

After going under the knife last year with an ankle injury, Lee (26, San Francisco Giants) played in the fewest games since his rookie year and posted the worst numbers of his career. Still, the Giants took a gamble on him with a six-year, $113 million (15.59 billion won) contract.

Lee got his first sweet break of the season on Nov. 11 (KST) and didn’t play on Dec. 12 due to a travel day.

In 12 games in his debut season in the big leagues, Lee is batting .255 (12-for-47) with one home run, four RBIs, four runs scored, a .315 on-base percentage, a .340 slugging percentage, and a .655 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).

It’s a disappointing performance compared to his pre-season expectations and early-season pace that was commensurate with his hefty price tag. However, the criticism of Lee has been much more muted than it has been for any other Korean leaguer in the past.

There’s a reason for that. The statistics prove it. According to BaseballSabermetrics, Lee’s 7.4% strikeout rate ranks second in Major League Baseball (MLB) behind Luis Camposano (San Diego – 6.3%) and his 6.8% whiff rate ranks first.

He ranks fourth with only two missed swings on balls in the zone and fourth with a 3.4% missed swing rate, while he ranks third with three missed swings on balls outside the zone and seventh with a 21.4% rate.

Not surprising. For a player who hasn’t faced MLB pitchers before, it’s those numbers that gave him a high probability of success and allowed San Francisco to make a bold investment. His ability to recognize strikes and balls and his overwhelming contact rate on pitches in the zone gave the team confidence that he would be able to succeed against the best pitchers in the world. With these abilities, Lee has risen to the top of the KBO’s career batting average list with a .340 average after seven seasons.

Before the season, many predicted Lee’s success. “He’s the best hitter in Korea right now,” said The Athletic, “He has excellent hand-eye coordination (similar to Ichiro) and hits a lot of hard contact. His strikeout rate over the past two seasons has been less than 6%,” a number that hasn’t changed much in the big leagues, where there are far better pitchers.

JustBaseball noted more specifically Lee’s strengths: His 97 percent strike zone rate was higher than any other hitter in the big leagues, including Luis Arajuez (Miami Marlins – 94 percent), who won the batting title for the second straight year. “Even if he dips into the low 90s, he’s still about 10 percent (above league average). The difference is that his natural power is better than most 90%+ zone contact players who aren’t Jose Ramirez or Mookie Betts.”

In fact, Lee’s 3.4 percent zone swinging rate was similar to what it was in the KBO. But it’s not just about hitting the ball. He also produces hard-hit balls that go for extra bases.

The number that shows this is bat speed. Lee’s average bat speed is 92.3 mph, which ranks 43rd overall. On the team, he was third behind Patrick Bailey (97.6 mph) and Matt Chapman (94.6 mph). His 22 hard hits (balls hit 95 mph or harder) ranked 10th overall, but as a 토토사이트 percentage of swings, he was first overall at 30.1%, meaning that if he swung, he was more likely to get a hard hit than anyone else.

Even if you hit a 170-kilometer-per-hour hard hit, it’s hard to get a hit if it goes directly in front of the batter, but that’s why MLB pays attention to hard hits, whether it’s a ground ball or a line drive to the outfield, because the faster the launch speed, the more likely it is to result in a hit.

On the other hand, Lee’s batting ranking is 95th in MLB, which is a big discrepancy. If Lee continues to perform like this, we can expect to see more hits and more power.

The way this season has gone, the outlook is bright. After recording a hit and an RBI in his big league debut, Lee had a multi-hit game in his second game and a home run in his third game. After hitting safely in his first six games in the big leagues, he went hitless in three consecutive games.

But he’s proving that he’s not called a “hitting genius” for nothing. Lee has since rebounded with back-to-back multi-hit games in a two-game series against the Washington Nationals. His batting average, which had dropped to .200, has risen to .255.

Furthermore, his hitting numbers aren’t the worst on the team. He ranks third in batting average and fourth in OPS among hitters with regular plate appearances.

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