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Hanwha aims for ‘offense-enhancing’ emergency

The Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization are having a busy offseason. They’ve added a new foreign hitter, Jonathan Peraza (25), and free agent (FA) Ahn Chi-hong (33), to bolster their offense.

Hanwha struggled offensively this year, ending the season in ninth place and failing to qualify for fall baseball. They ranked last in team batting average (0.241), on-base percentage (0.350), and slugging percentage (0.324) among the 10 clubs.

In an effort to turn things around, Hanwha started with foreign hitters. They parted ways with Nick Williams and signed outfielder Jonathan Peraza for a total of $1 million ($200,000 signing bonus, $600,000 salary, $200,000 option) on July 19.

“Peraza is a medium-to-long range hitter with a solid build (175 centimeters tall, 88 kilograms) and fast bat speed that produces hard-hitting power,” Hanwha said, adding that the team expects him to “energize the team atmosphere with his passionate playing style.”

Peraza joined the Cubs in 2015, but has no big league experience. In 121 games at Triple-A this year, he hit .284 with 23 home runs and a .922 OPS.

Hanwha hasn’t been shy about investing.

On Nov. 20, it signed veteran infielder Ahn Chi-hong to a 4+2-year, $7.2 billion contract.

Hanwha and Ahn will fulfill a four-year contract totaling 5.5 billion won, including 4.7 billion won in guarantees and 800 million won in options. The next two years of the contract will be subject to a mutual option that will be exercised by both the club and the player, and if the contract is extended, it will be worth a total of 1.7 billion won, including 1.3 billion won in guarantees and 400 million won in options for two years.

“Ahn Chi-hong is a player with both steadiness and integrity, so there was no reason for the club to hesitate in signing him,” said Hanwha president Son Hyuk.

Ahn made his KBO debut in 2009 and played for the KIA Tigers until 2017, when he became a free agent after the 2019 season and moved to the Lotte Giants. 카지노사이트가이드 His career stats include a .297 batting average in 1620 games with 1687 hits, 140 home runs, 843 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.800.

In 2023, he hit .292 with 124 doubles, eight home runs, 63 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.774 in 121 games. He was especially effective with runners in scoring position. He was also productive with runners in scoring position, batting .355.

With the offense led by Noh Si-hwan and Chae Eun-sung, Peraza and Ahn Chi-hong, Hanwha has a strong top of the order. Noh led the league in home runs (31) and RBIs (101) this year, while Chae Eun-sung had 23 home runs and 84 RBIs.

With a different batting lineup, Hanwha can expect to see offensive synergy at the top of the order. With its weaknesses erased, Hanwha will look to make a splash in the 2024 season.


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