The 2nd round of the King of Stolen match begins.
Modern baseball is not highly dependent on stolen bases. In fact, in the 2022 season, 10 clubs attempted to steal a total of 1257 times. 890 were successful. 70.8% success rate. On the other hand, the 10 teams in the 2021 season had 1335 stolen base attempts. 941 was successful. 70.5% success rate. The stolen base rate increased slightly, but the attempts decreased slightly.
It is true that stealing attempts per team and per 안전놀이터 game have decreased compared to the late 2000s, when foot baseball was popular with SK and Doosan. When each team develops a hitter with scientific weight training techniques, tracking data, and launch angle revolution, they first focus on improving their long-running power rather than running base.
But that doesn’t mean the league is ignoring stealing. Baseball is a game of cheating and cheating and a game of rock-paper-scissors. When the guard against stealing is relaxed, there is no magic potion to control the flow of the game as much as attempting to steal a base and succeeding. Most teams give greenlights to players who are fast and have good running sense.
KIA coach Kim Jong-guk gave the green light to most players as soon as he took office. Occasionally, there was a case where they gave a sign telling them not to steal, but it wasn’t the style of giving a sign separately to tell them to steal. Manager Kim, who had the experience of stealing the bases during his active career and was quick on his feet, is a leader who emphasizes aggressive base running more than anyone else.
In this atmosphere, Park Chan-ho, who is the fastest on the team, became king of stolen bases, proving that the Tigers’ foot baseball is alive and well. Park Chan-ho recorded 42 stolen bases in the 2022 season, and recaptured the stealing king in three years following the 2019 season of 39 steals. It was a valuable achievement that he made with as much effort as his batting, such as timing his runs well and actively researching pitchers. Park Chan-ho is a strong candidate for stealing base this season if he is healthy. This is because he will not lose his starting shortstop unless there is an emergency.
However, it is premature to think that Park Chan-ho’s era has opened. This is because Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom), who has not missed the top 3 stolen bases since the 2020 season, is alive and well. Kim Hye-sung finished second with 34 stolen bases last season. However, he lived with injuries throughout the season, and on September 3, he collided with Kim Taek-hyung while playing first base for the Incheon SSG match and suffered a fracture of the left metacarpal bone. On September 23, he allowed Park Chan-ho to turn around for 20 days before playing against Gocheok Doosan.
Hyesung Kim recorded 20 steals in 2019, and finished third with 25 steals in 2020. In 2021, he became the first stolen base king in his career with 46 steals. At that time, the stealing success rate was a whopping 92%. The 2022 season was also good with 34 steals and a success rate of 82.9%. Park’s success rate is 84%.
Don’t just remember them. Choi Ji-hoon (SSG), who has been reborn as the top center fielder in the KBO League, is also considered a candidate for the stolen base king. He finished third last season with 31 stolen bases, a success rate of 82.9%. Unlike Park Chan-ho and Kim Hye-seong, his long hitting power is gradually increasing. In addition, Park Hae-min (LG), who has established himself as an established outfielder in the national team, can challenge the king of stolen bases at any time. From 2015 to 2018, when he was at Samsung, he was the king of stolen bases for four consecutive years. Recently, he has reduced his stolen base attempts, but has been consistently at the top.