Candidates for the batting champion until summer → Downfall in September, LG 10 rounder luckyball “No failure three times.”

Moon Sung-joo, who had been a key outfielder for the past two years, had a high batting average of over 300 percent until the summer before falling into a slump in September. He needs to overcome this difficulty this year.핑크알바

Moon Sung-joo, who was nominated by LG in the second 10th round (97th overall) of the rookie draft in 2018, is a lucky guy. He had one hit in three times at bat in five games in the first division in 2018, and joined the military afterwards. After returning from military service, he stood out by occupying a spot in the LG outfield from the 2022 season.

He hit .300 for the second consecutive year, but he was disappointed at the end of the season. When we met at the spring camp in Scottsdale, Arizona, Moon talked a lot about his slump in September.

During the 2022 season, Moon was the “out-of-the-field batting champion” with a batting average of around .350 percent at the end of August. He failed to meet the required number of at-bats due to injury, but displayed outstanding batting sense. However, he suffered a sharp slump after September. He saw his batting average plunge to 132.2 percent (seven hits from 53 times at bat) in 24 games leading up to the final game of this season. He ended the season with a batting average of .33 percent, which was not the required number of times at bat.

Until the end of August last year, Moon had a high batting average of around .310. Since September, he has shown sluggish performance with a batting average of .256 (23 hits in 90 times at bat) in 34 games. It was the first time that he played in the regular season, but he finished with a batting average of .294.

Moon Sung-joo said at the camp, “I’m slowly improving my physical condition. There is nothing difficult, and the coach and coach are very considerate.” He was excluded from night training or extra training until the fourth turn of camp training.

Coach Yeom Kyung-yeop subdivided the training schedule into three groups, including seniors, middle-class and rookies, at the spring camp.

Moon Sung-joo mentioned the past two years, “I think I have performed well because my coaches understood me well and helped me during the season while working with coach Lee Ho-joon and coach Mo Chang-min for two years.”

Moon mentioned his disappointing last-minute slump at the end of the season. “The batting average has decreased since the last week of August. When I fell in the first year (September 2022), I didn’t know what was going on, and I think I just kept going,” Moon said. “When I fell again last year, I felt to myself what wasn’t going on. If that happens again this year, I can’t fall at the end of every year, so I have to fix it.”

What kind of problems did he feel? “I thought I wasn’t physically tired, but I definitely felt my bat didn’t turn as fast as it did in the beginning (in September). As I didn’t turn around, I also lost my right shoulder quickly. I think my accuracy kept on going down as I tried to hit harder under such circumstances,” Moon said.

A more detailed explanation continued. “If it continued until the fall baseball season, I would have thought it was really physically and technically impossible, but it was a little bit better during the fall baseball season. It was different. I didn’t have a hit in Game 1 (Korean Series), but I had one hit in each of Game 2 and Game 3, and the feeling was completely different. I can see the ball well and I think I will hit something. I have confidence that I can hit in Games 4 and 5 even if I am not good at it,” he said.

“When I was in a slump at the end of the 2022 season, I felt a lot of pressure that I would not be able to make it. During the early and mid-season, I maintain my composure whether I get a hit or not, but at the end of the season, I felt like, ‘It’s a little strange. I can’t.’ That feeling disappeared a little bit in the fall baseball last year, and it made me think that I could do it like this. Fall baseball brought that feeling. So that I could overcome it…” he said.

In the end, psychological problems and physical exhaustion seemed to be a combination. Moon Sung-joo said, “I haven’t been able to hit for more than a month to be a psychological problem, so of course, it would be physical and psychological, but I certainly didn’t play the bat because I wasn’t in good shape unlike at the beginning of the season. I thought about what to do when I wasn’t going around, and I couldn’t have experienced that if I hadn’t played autumn baseball, but I had a lot of experience because I felt it.”

Moon Sung-joo mentioned “attacking left-handed pitchers” with the jinx in September. “The batting average against left-handed pitchers was good in 2022, but the batting average against left-handed pitchers fell last year. Weirdly, we couldn’t target left-handed pitchers in the second half of last year,” he said. “I think we need to find points against left-handed pitchers from this year’s exhibition game.” If I hit a ball against a left-handed pitcher last year, it became a foul. It became an in-play ball in 2022, but there were many fouls in 2023. I couldn’t fight with the ball count, and that’s why I couldn’t target it.”

Moon’s batting average for left-handed pitchers in 2022 was as high as 341 percent (29 hits from 85 times at bat). However, his batting average for left-handed pitchers fell to 236 percent (37 hits from 157 times at bat) last year. The figure dropped by more than 10 percent.

Meanwhile, the Twins will hold a practice game against the San Diego Padres in the Major League at Gocheok Stadium in Seoul in mid-March. Attention is already drawn to their showdowns with Major League stars. When asked how he felt about facing San Diego, Moon calmly said, “I haven’t thought about it yet. I have a lot to do (in the camp). I still have a lot to do.”

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