One of the best hitters in the 2023 KBO League is Chae Eun-seong (33‧ Hanwha). At the beginning of the season, he ranks high in all hitting indicators, proving the value of a free agent (FA) of 9 billion won over six years.
Chae Eun-seong played 10 games until the 13th and led the Hanwha batting line with a batting average of 0.366, 3 homers, 11 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.106. He is fully demonstrating the long hit and weight, especially the clutch ability, which were lacking in the Hanwha lineup. What Hanwha expected from Chae Eun-seong is the ability to produce RBIs in the center of the batting line, but with 11 RBIs in 10 games, Hanwha is proving that their eyes are not wrong. The ability to see both right fielder and first baseman is a bonus.
Chae Eun-seong is ranked first in home runs, RBIs, 메이저놀이터and OPS until the 13th. His batting average ranks ninth, slugging percentage ranks second, and on-base percentage ranks eighth. It belongs to the ‘TOP 10’ in almost all indicators except for stealing. It has been quite a long time since a Hanwha hitter shined such a brilliant light on an individual report card.
In the match against KIA held at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on the 13th, Chae Eun-seong’s bat, which gave strength at an important moment, led the team to a 5-1 victory. With both teams unable to score until the 4th inning, Hanwha seized the opportunity to take the lead with Lee Won-seok’s walk and Jung Eun-won’s heavy hit after one out in the 5th inning. Noh Si-hwan stepped down with a strikeout and became a ‘scoring right after 2 shots’ situation, where Chae Eun-sung presented a valuable one point to the team with a crucial timely hit.
The start of the extra point in the 8th inning, when the thin ice lead was continuing, also started with Chae Eun-sung’s hit, and in the 9th inning, a double was added to create a three-hit game. After the game, Chae Eun-seong’s story also reveals that he is more focused on this situation in the end. Chae Eun-seong said, “It’s still early in the season, so I don’t think it’s a big deal, but I think it’s fortunate that RBIs are coming out when the team needs them. Since the team needs RBIs to win, I want to focus on getting more RBIs.” did
However, the value of Chae Eun-sung is not simply revealed in the ‘RBI’ and attack indicators. Hanwha officials unanimously say, “I bought Chae Eun-seong very well.” He may be an addition to the team’s offense, but as one of the team’s leaders, he sets an example for his juniors and has a lot of influence. An official praised him, saying, “Not only his skills, but also his disposition is a very good player.”
Not only is he simply active on the field, but he is also well-received for leading his juniors by example. This has been a word of mouth since the Arizona camp. Fortunately, the performance at the beginning of the season went well, and I was able to receive more strength. Chae Eun-seong himself can act as an opportunity to escape from the pressure of his first year of free agent transfer.
Hanwha has yet to finish rebuilding. Whether on the mound or on the batting line, there are many young players. So, we recruited leaders who will lead those players in this FA market. There was nothing to say about Lee Tae-yang and Oh Seon-jin, who had already ‘been born and knew’, and Chae Eun-seong expected such a role, but he is confident that he is more than expected.