Will McKinnon and Davidson be different?
As more and more foreign hitters who played in Japan make their way to the KBO, all eyes will be on David McKinnon (Samsung) and Matt Davidson (NC), who will be stepping on Korean soil for the first time this season.
McKinnon, a right-handed-hitting corner infielder who replaced Jose Pirela, who led the Samsung batting order for three years starting in 2021, batted .259 (120-for-464) with 17 home runs, 53 RBIs and 53 runs scored in 127 games for the Seibu Lions last year.
“McKinnon is a medium-to-long range right-handed hitter with a good leadoff arm and excellent contact ability who can play solid first and third base defense,” said a club representative.
“With his diligent work ethic and Japanese baseball experience, he is expected to adapt quickly to the KBO,” said a team representative. “With his addition, 안전놀이터 we expect to gain infield versatility and further strengthen our center field lineup.”
The newest member of the NC family
Davidson is a big infielder with excellent size at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, who hit 19 home runs last year while playing for the Hiroshima Toyokafe. “His strengths include his ability to battle pitchers and produce long balls in any situation.
“Davidson has a lot of experience in the MLB and NPB and is a player with a great ability to produce long balls,” said NC general manager Lim Sun-nam. He is a player who is persistent in battling with pitchers as he has over 4.2 pitches per at-bat in the major leagues. We look forward to having him as a centerpiece of our batting order.”
Japanese sports media outlet “Full Count” published a series of articles on foreign hitters who made the jump to the KBO after playing in Japan on Nov. 11, highlighting the success stories of pitchers from the NPB, including Raul Alcantara (Doosan) and Aaron Wilkerson (Lotte).
Of course, there are also cases of failure.
Brian O’Grady (outfielder) and Butch Smith (pitcher), who played for Hanwha last year, are two examples.
When Hanwha signed O’Grady, they described him as a “power-hitting right-handed outfielder with 20+ home run potential who can play all outfield positions, including center field.”
O’Grady appeared in 22 games, batting an abysmal 1-for-22 (10-for-80) with eight RBIs and three runs scored before being sent home. He tried to readjust his bat in the Futures organization, but it didn’t work.
Smith was considered a first-round talent, with a fastball that topped out at 155 mph from his 6-foot-5 frame and an arsenal of pitches that included a slider, curveball, and changeup.
Smith has only been on the mound once. He started the regular season opener against Kiwoom at the Gocheok SkyDome on April 1 last year and left the game early after allowing two runs on three hits and one walk with two strikeouts in 2⅔ innings.
He felt unwell in the third inning when he was hit by a pitch with runners on first and second, and a medical examination revealed a tiny strain in his shoulder muscle. 파워볼사이트 추천 Hanwha decided it couldn’t wait any longer for Smith’s slow recovery and pulled him out.
“O’Grady, who played for Seibu in 2022, was released in June after underperforming last year with a batting average of 1.229, and Smith, who like O’Grady moved from Seibu to Hanwha, started the opening day but only lasted one game before injuring his shoulder,” Full Count noted.
“It will be interesting to see how Davidson and McKinnon, the foreign batsmen who have been given a chance to rebuild their careers in Korea after playing in Japan, fare this season,” the publication concluded.