Is the KIA batting lineup stronger than the KBO’s No. 1 LG batting lineup, but it’s still not as good as LG’s?
During their recent five-game winning streak, KIA clearly showed off the power of their complete lineup to nine different teams. The 9-2 triple-setter of Park Chan-ho, Choi Won-joon, and Kim Do-young, the 3-6 middle order of Na Sung-beom, Choi Hyung-woo, Socrates Brito, Ko Jong-wook, or Lee Chang-jin, and the 7-8 batting order anchored by Kim Sun-bin and Kim Tae-gun. No rest in the batting order.
During the five-game winning streak, they were third in team batting average at .317 and second in team OPS at .877. There’s been some talk here and there about the power of the complete KIA lineup, but bats go in cycles. There’s absolutely no guarantee that the KIA lineup will have a team batting average of .300 and a team OPS near .900 this week. In fact, there’s a good chance they won’t. But there’s no doubt that the basic power of the lineup has improved.
In terms of name value, the lineup is nowhere near as good as the LG or SSG lineups. In fact, LG is the best offense in the KBO this season. So is the KIA lineup objectively stronger than the LG lineup? Not at this point in time.
LG has a table-setter in Moon Sung-joo, Park Hae-min, and Hong Chang-gi, a center fielder in Kim Hyun-soo, Austin Dean, and Oh Ji-hwan, and a backup in Moon Bo-kyung, Shin Min-jae, Park Dong-won, and Kim Min-sung. The batting lineup is by far the best in the league in terms of balance and destructive power. Although the batting lineup is said to be highly cyclical, it has the least ups and downs among the 10 clubs.
This is thanks to the “backup players” that coach Yoon Kyung-yup emphasizes. True, the injuries to Lee Jae-won and Son Ho-young haven’t changed the batting lineup as Yoon originally envisioned, but LG’s batting lineup is full of backups who can step in at any time. Shin Min-jae and Kim Min-sung have done a good job in that role, and now Lee Jae-won and Son Ho-young have joined them.
Having two or three hitters who can step into the lineup at any time and do their job minimizes the risk of injury and makes it easier to balance the roster. LG has that. So we can minimize the ups and downs. This is why the overall strength of LG’s batting lineup is unlikely to decline in the future.
KIA doesn’t seem to have as many backups as LG. Lee Chang-jin, Ko Jong-wook, and Kim Kyu-sung are the only solid backups for the entire lineup, but Ko Jong-wook’s defense and Kim Kyu-sung’s batting are somewhat lacking. In other words, it’s hard to say that their backups are better than LG’s in terms of quality.
This brings us to Byun Woo-hyuk and Hwang Dae-in. Hwang Dae-in was recently diagnosed with a hamstring injury that will keep him out for about three weeks. He won’t be back for the start of the second half. Byun Woo-hyuk recently started playing in the Futures League after overcoming Achilles tendonitis.
If healthy, Hwang Dae-in and Byun Woo-hyuk should both be in the first team. With Choi Won-jun able to switch between first base and the outfield, Lee Woo-seong, Ko Jong-wook, Lee Chang-jin, Hwang Dae-in, and Byun Woo-hyuk should be able to switch back and forth between the main roster and the backup roster to create a truly strong backup lineup. It’s a shame that Ryu Ji-hyuk moved to Samsung. In the long run, it would be good to find more center fielders like Kim Kyu-sung. It’s a shame that Hwang Dae-in and Byun Woo-hyuk were unable to establish themselves in the first team this season due to poor performances and injuries.메이저사이트
It’s virtually impossible to have more than three backups in a full batting lineup throughout the season. Even LG has been struggling with injuries and slumps since the start of the season, but now that the conditions are right, it’s the kind of system that needs to be in place if they want to be a real powerhouse. This is especially true if KIA isn’t just trying to make it to the top five.