It’s not Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Hereoze) or Jose Pirela (Samsung Lions). It’s Park Chan-ho (28) of the KIA Tigers.
Park Chan-ho has been the hottest hitter in May. In 13 games, he batted .408. That’s the highest batting average of any hitter with regular at-bats in the month. In second place is Pirela with 0.373, and in third place is Moon Sang-chul (KT Wiz). Park Chan-ho is also tied for fifth in that category with 20 hits. His at-bats have been relatively few as KIA has been rained out for four consecutive games, starting on April 4 against the Lotte Giants.
Park Chan-ho has driven in three runs in a game three times. He has seven multi-hit games (two or more hits) and four stolen bases in that span thanks to his increased on-base percentage. With nine on the season, he chased down Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom), who leads the league in this category with 12. Park Chan-ho was the stolen base leader (42) last season (2022).
Park batted .181 in 23 games in April. That ranked 59th out of 61 league hitters who reached base in regulation. Park injured his right wrist in the first spring training camp in the United States (Arizona) and did not participate in the second camp in Japan (Okinawa). The injury healed in time for Opening Day. The problem was hitting. With second-year infielder Kim Do-young, who was expected to be the leadoff man, out with an ankle injury, he had to take over the offensive spearhead (batting first), but a string of hitless games after the opening two games against the SSG Landers pushed him to the ninth spot.
Park batted .276 in the second half of last season (2022). He was criticized for his offense compared to his defense, but he gained confidence with a not-so-bad record.토토사이트
Although he struggled through April due to injury, he maintained the hitting balance he established last year. As he got more comfortable in the field, he began to curb his outside (for a right-handed hitter) and low-pitched swings. Even against Kiwoom on the 21st, when he didn’t get a hit, he was able to handle a changeup from the in-form Choi Won-tae.
Park Chan-ho has been batting second behind Ryu Ji-hyuk lately. He has been doing his job well, scoring five runs in the last five games.
KIA had a foreign player last season, Socrates Brito, who turned his April slump into a bounce-back month in May. This season, it’s Park Chan-ho. Coach Kim Jong-kook and KIA fans didn’t have to wait long.