The South Korean baseball team showed the potential for generational change at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games. Several players made their presence felt, including Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha Eagles), who brought a lot of power to the batting order.
In 131 regular-season games, Noh hit .298 with 153 hits in 514 at-bats, 31 home runs, 101 RBIs, and an OPS of .929, his best season since his professional debut. Despite missing regular-season action during the Asian Games, Noh maintained his home run lead in the absence of a regular-season game, which he held until the end of the season. It had been 15 years since Hanwha had a home run king since Kim Tae-gyun in 2008.
After making his presence felt on the team, Noh was named to the roster for the Asian Games. And he lived up to the hype. In six games at the Asian Games, including the group stage, he went 7-for-16 with a .438 batting average, six RBIs, and a 1.140 OPS, helping his team win its fourth straight title. Although he went hitless in the final game against Chinese Taipei, he had a hit in each of the previous five games.
Following the Asian Games, Noh will also compete in the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) 2023, which will feature a younger roster.
After completing his first call-up training session at Daegu Samsung Lions Park on June 6, he said, “I have no fear. Honestly, I don’t feel any pressure. I just want to go and win. Of course, the first thing I want to do is win and come back. Of course, if I do well and make a name for myself, that would be great, but even if I don’t, I want the team to win. If you try to show too much, it can be hard, so I’m going to focus on winning unconditionally rather than thinking about home runs,” he said.
Noh also emphasized the importance of defense, saying, “I might not feel good hitting, so if that happens, I’ll have to focus on my defense. In a big game like this, defense is important, so I’ll try to focus on those things.” 토토사이트
Making a meaningful achievement at the Hangzhou Asian Games was naturally euphoric for both the team and the players, but it also meant more responsibility. “I still think that the fact that we won the gold medal in Hangzhou was not a fluke, but if we don’t do well in this tournament, it could be seen as not working hard enough, and I think we have to prove it in some way so that the fans and the public can see that the players are really trying their best and working hard,” Noh urged.