Lotte ‘Transformer’ Na Kyun-an, will he leap to ’10 wins’?￼
- on Mar 15, 2023
Lotte Giants, the most popular team that ranked 8th in the 2022 KBO League, is expected to be a candidate for a blast in this year’s ranking fight. During the winter, free agent catcher Yoo Kang-nam (4 years, 8 billion won), infielder Roh Jin-hyeok (4 years, 5 billion won), and pitcher Han Hyun-hee (4 years, 4 billion won) were recruited to strengthen not only pitching but also defense.
In order for Lotte to advance to the postseason, the starting mound must prove its competitiveness. Last year, Lotte starters’ average ERA was 4.22, 8th place, OPPS (on-base percentage + batting average) 0.711, 7th place, and quality starts (6 innings or less, 3 ERA or less) tied for 7th place. All important indicators were at the bottom.
However, Strayley, who joined as a substitute in August of last year, played full-time from the opening this year, and Han Hyun-hee added, making the starting lineup even stronger. If the 5 starters are firmly established, the Lotte starters will be able to demonstrate solidity that is not inferior to other teams.
One of Lotte’s 5 starting candidates is ‘Transformer’ Na Kyun-an, who turned from catcher to pitcher. Last year, Na Kyun-an recorded an average ERA of 3.98 and an OPS of 0.727 with 3 wins, 8 losses and 2 holds. Looking at the physical record alone, it is not very impressive.
However, out of 39 appearances, he played 13 games as a starter and 26 as a reliever, and was overworked without being fixed in one position. He threw 117.2 innings, and threw 100 or more innings for the first time in two seasons of playing for the first team as a pitcher and digested many innings. WAR (Based on KB Report), which indicates the contribution to victory compared to substitute players, was 3.26, ranking third among pitchers in the team after Park Se-woong (5.59) and Barnes (5.31). Na Kyun-ahn’s contribution to the team is revealed through the innings and WAR.
Na Kyun-ahn’s growth can be seen through his stable pitching and aggressive pitching. In 2021, with an average strikeout of 5.24 and walks of 4.66 per 9 innings, there were many walks, so the control was unstable. However, he managed to significantly increase strikeouts and reduce walks with an average of 9.41 strikeouts and 2.83 walks per 9 innings in 2022.
If a pitcher increases the proportion of strikes and pitches aggressively, there are cases where the number of home runs increases. However, Kyun-an Na’s average home runs per 9 innings decreased further from 0.78 in 2021 to 0.38 in 2022. Last year’s average fastball velocity was 142.1 km/h, which was not fast, but overall, it is interpreted that the ball was heavy and powerful, so it overcame batters’ bats.
Another reason why Na Kyun-an’s performance this year is foreboding is the record since August of last year. Players who have not played for a long time in the first team stage and do not have much experience often have records from the second half of the previous year carried over to the following year. 메이저사이트
After being fixed as the starting pitcher, Na Kyun-an pitched in 9 games from August to the end of the season, recording an average ERA of 3.33 and an OPS of 0.689 with 2 wins and 4 losses. Although he did not follow Seung-woon, he proved that the selection was ‘clothes that fit the body’ with stable pitching through detailed indicators.
Every year, Lotte inflated expectations with good results at the beginning of the season, but it crashed from the beginning of the summer, and was also called ‘Bomde’. It is noteworthy whether Na Kyun-an will settle down as a full-time starting pitcher and lead Lotte to go to fall baseball with steady results.