“I’m good at watching foreign hitters…”
Last year’s KBO home run champion, Noh Shi-hwan (24, South Korea), had a feeling when he saw a video of new foreign hitter Jonathan Peraza (26) hitting. Noh, who has played with a number of foreign hitters since turning pro in 2019, is recognized within the team for his “eye for the ball” that allows him to see who will do well and who will not.
He hadn’t seen Peraza in person yet, but he could tell from the video that he looked out of place. “I think he’s going to do well. 바카라사이트 He has a very fast bat speed. His swing is short and he has a lot of speed until the moment of contact.” “When he hits the ball, he has a strong impact. It looks good to see the ball.”
Hanwha had a disastrous year last year when it came to farming foreign hitters.
Expected slugger Brian O’Grady was released after an abysmal 22-game season in which he batted 1-for-5 (10-for-80) with no home runs and eight RBIs for a .337 OPS, and his replacement, Nick Williams, didn’t fare much better, batting 2-for-4 (63-for-258) with nine home runs, 45 RBIs and a .678 OPS in 68 games, but his weakness against fastballs was evident. His outfield defense was also shaky.
Not wanting to repeat the foreign hitter fiasco, Hanwha moved quickly and signed Peraza, a switch-hitting outfielder from Venezuela, early on Nov. 19 last year. With a $200,000 signing bonus, a $600,000 salary, and a $200,000 option, he met the KBO’s $1 million cap for new foreign players.
He doesn’t have the usual major league experience.
Of the 27 KBO foreign players in the 2024 class signed in the last five days, only Peraza and Mel Rojas Jr. (KT) have no major league experience. Rojas was the 2020 KBO MVP and has two years of experience in Nippon Professional Baseball, but Peraza is new to Asia.
He’s not a big-name player with a storied career or a lot of experience, but he is the first foreigner born in 1998 to play in the KBO. Peraza’s youth is his biggest strength, as he was born in November and is still only 25 years old.
Recognized as talented enough to be signed by the Cubs as an international amateur for $1.3 million in August 2015 when he was 17, Peraza has been on a steady developmental path in the minors, culminating in a career-high season last year at Triple-A Iowa, where he batted .389 with 23 home runs, 85 RBI, 100 runs scored, 76 walks, 119 strikeouts, 13 stolen bases, a .534 slugging percentage and a .922 OPS in 121 games for the Cubs. A major league debut seemed imminent, but the Cubs, with their abundance of outfield talent, didn’t give him a chance. Just three years after switching positions from the infield to the outfield, his defense was a weakness, and he was released as a minor league free agent after the season. Hanwha quickly made contact and snatched him up for $1 million.
According to Noh, Peraza has great bat speed.
He is short at 175 centimeters and 88 kilograms, but his entire body is muscular. He has a sharp swing that comes from his tight, muscular body. He’s a mid-to-long range hitter with strong wrist strength and fast bat speed that produces line drives. In the KBO, where fastballs average less velocity than in the U.S., he could develop into a long ball hitter.
Another thing we’re looking forward to is his high energy, as he’s known for his enthusiastic play and ability to lift the team spirit. Hanwha, which has had a lot of quieter foreign hitters in the past, has noticed Peraza’s energy. Hanwha captain Chae Eun-sung said, “It’s important for foreign batters to come and adapt, and Peraza seems to be energetic and fighting. It’s easier to adapt to an active player than a quiet one. I’m looking forward to that.”
Of course, foreign hitters are expected to lift the lid.
In Peraza’s case, the question marks about his outfield defense need to be erased. But he’s clearly motivated to succeed at a young age. Many foreign players, most recently Eric Pedroia (Chicago White Sox), have made it to the major leagues after being treated well in the KBO. 토토사이트 순위 Peraza hopes to follow in their footsteps by growing up in Korea and playing in the major leagues.
In an interview with Venezuelan newspaper Ultimas Noticias on November 22 last year, Peraza said, “I haven’t lost my goal of playing in the major leagues. I’m going to Korea to fulfill that dream. If I play well here, doors will open for me. Going to Korea doesn’t mean I’ve given up on my dream of playing in the major leagues, it’s still there.” The more purposeful you are, the more likely you are to succeed.