LG’s biggest concern before the season was second base. LG had been working hard to solve the second base problem, including trading 200-hit hero Seo Gun-chang, but had not found a suitable solution.
However, LG no longer has to worry about second base. That’s because they found Shin Min-jae, 27.
Shin joined the Doosan organization in 2015 as a developmental player and moved to LG in the second round of the 2018 winter draft. He didn’t become an official player until 2019. However, he played mostly as a pinch-hitter without a primary position. Since he didn’t have a position, Shin trained to play all positions in the infield and outfield. It was a way to survive.메이저사이트
One of the reasons he lasted until last year was because he has fast feet, running 100 meters in the low 10s. However, he wasn’t a great stealer: his most stolen bases were 10 in 2019. In order to be a good stealer, it’s not only important to have fast feet, but also to understand the pitcher’s pitching style and habits. That’s something Shin lacked.
This season, however, he opened his eyes to stealing bases. He had been in and out of the lineup every year, but coach Yoon Kyung-yup guaranteed him a spot in the lineup, and he didn’t miss a single day this season. Shin said, “My coach has a lot of faith in me. Even if I die trying to steal a base, he never says anything. This has given me confidence, and I feel like I’ve recovered mentally.” He expressed his gratitude.
Shin Min-jae, who met coach Yoon Kyung-yeop, who advocates playing baseball in this way, grew invisibly as he played, and as of the 10th, he is leading the league in stolen bases with 21.
In April, after the opening day, he had only one at-bat and was solely in a running role. However, as Seo Gun-chang, the main second baseman, continued to struggle and Oh Ji-hwan’s unexpected injury forced Kim Min-sung to move to shortstop, Shin’s opportunity came.
Shin, who had always been a runner, was given more opportunities to hit and play defense, and he began to showcase his batting talent. In 65 games this season, he is batting .333 (31-for-93) with seven home runs, 24 RBIs, 21 runs scored, and a .392 wRC+ of 131.9, energizing the team’s offense.
Shin is also a player who has eaten soggy bread, and he plays every at-bat every game. Even if it’s an ordinary infield grounder, he always grits his teeth and sprint to the plate, showing his teammates that he can do it.
His quick feet, stolen bases, and operational skills have made him a strategic player for LG. Shin Min-jae has always been at the forefront of Yoon Kyung-yeop’s running and operational baseball.
This season, he got the opportunity he needed most, and he didn’t miss it. He opened his eyes to stealing bases and realized his batting talent, which was hidden by his quick feet. Now, he’s a strategic player, not a pinch hitter. He’s been a hit for LG in the first half.