It is too early for Hanwha to bring out ‘winning baseball’ in the 3rd year of rebuilding

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The ‘lowest regular’ Hanwha Eagles raised the topic of ‘winning baseball’.

Hanwha sacked manager Carlos Subero on the 11th. Hanwha general manager Son Hyuk took issue with coach Subero’s experimental appointment and said that he would make clear player positions for next season, which will see a game. It has been said that from 2024, we will play winning baseball.

At the time of the resignation of coach Subero, Hanwha was in ninth place. While explaining the core cause of the manager change, Hanwha brought out ‘winning baseball’ and ‘match’ as ​​keywords. In fact, the sacked coach Subero also said during the spring camp in February, “I don’t want to use the word rebuilding this year.” 

Is Hanwha’s rebuilding really over? Rebuilding is a generational change task of finding new players who will be the center of the team and forming a squad. It is necessary to secure a promising player who is the main pillar of the team, that is, a core player with a high ceiling (shilling) of potential, and there must be many players with a guaranteed lower limit (floor) of stable skills.

However, it is difficult to find a ‘real’ rebuild in the KBO League. First of all, unlike major league (MLB), it is difficult to supply and demand core players. In the draft, it is difficult to get even one player like this in a year. Unlike MLB, signing international prospects is not possible. It is also not easy to sell and supply existing first-team players. The fastest way to supply domestic players who will become the core in the KBO league is to recruit free agents (FA).

The existence of foreign players is also a reason why the club does not bother rebuilding. Even if only two foreign pitchers and one foreign hitter succeed, the team can gain three core players. In this case, domestic players can challenge for the championship even if they are in the middle ranks.

So, most of the clubs put forward a rebuild and proceeded with retooling (partial reconstruction). It is to reinforce some of the weak links while leaving the main players in the standard 1st team. In this case, the core players remain and there are few gaps. Retooling will be completed if foreign players and free agents are successfully recruited, or if more players are added to reinforce the first-team depth (player base).

Hanwha is different. Hanwha has only succeeded in advancing to the postseason (PS) once in the past 15 years. Since the last PS in 2018, it has fallen to 9th and 10th. There was no material at all to save it. So, after organizing a large number of veteran players who were the main players, we welcomed 2021 by recruiting coach Subero. At the time, Jeong Min-cheol, the general manager, emphasized ‘long breath’ several times.

Was it only two years of long breathing? This season, Hanwha recruited free agent Chae Eun-seong. Roh Si-hwan, Moon Dong-ju, and Kim Seo-hyun are worthy of being called core players. But it’s not enough to finish the rebuild. Moon Dong-ju is the first full-time selection, and Kim Seo-hyun is a rookie this season. Except for Chae Eun-seong and Roh Si-hwan, it is difficult to find a place that is above the league average in other positions.

Rebuilding is a battle of patience. The MLB Baltimore Orioles traded Manny Machado, the existing mainstay, in 2018 and began rebuilding. I gave up on winning the first team at all, and instead focused on scouting prospects. As a result, it rose to the top of the prospect team rankings in the summer of 2021, and is maintaining the top spot until this season. And based on that power, the first team is also running second overall in MLB with a win rate of 0.650 as of the 15th. This is the result of focusing on scouting and nurturing instead of winning for four years.

Baltimore was able to challenge fall baseball last year (with an odds ratio of 0.512). If you sold a promising player and immediately recruited a sense of power, the wild card was not too far away. However, Baltimore general manager Mark Elias rather chose to supply prospects by selling main hitter Trey Mancini and closer Jorge Lopez. It is for a higher future instead of an uncertain fall baseball. After that, manager Elias personally visited the players and explained the reason and shared the club’s vision. We are tasting the results this year.메이저사이트

As in Baltimore, rebuilding is not a task that can be completed in two to three years. The real goal is to fully enhance the skills of the players rather than just winning one right away. There is a high risk if you throw the winning number prematurely. Furthermore, Hanwha did not take the method of selling existing key players like the Machado trade. Scouting of foreign players also failed every year. Unlike general manager Elias, there was a lack of communication during the sacking of coach Subero.

The reason why Hanwha brought out the baseball keyword that wins in just two years may be because of a lack of understanding or patience in rebuilding. How should we evaluate Hanwha’s rebuilding process? It is not immediately known what the results will be this year, but Hanwha’s time is not ‘yet’.

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