The 35-year-old “No. 1 hitter” who ranks fourth in the KBO’s career batting average and is recognized by his manager…”That’s what keeps me in the game”

August 23, 2023 | by

NC Dinos veteran outfielder Son Ah-seop, 35, still makes contact and leads the team’s offense. Manager Kang Myung-ho is grateful for his contributions.

Son began his professional career in 2007 after being drafted by Lotte. In the 15 years he played for the Lotte Giants before becoming a free agent for the second time and donning an NC uniform, he finished the season with 12 triple-doubles. Excluding his rookie year, he hit in the triple digits 12 out of 14 times.

After the 2017 season, he signed his first free agent contract with Lotte. In November 2017, he put his stamp on a four-year, 9.8 billion won deal. Over the next four years, he had three triple-digit batting average seasons.

He led the league in hits three times (2012, 2013, and 2017). He has great contact ability. He is also a national team outfielder. Recognizing his abilities, NC offered him a four-year, 6.4 billion won deal when he became eligible for free agency for the second time after the 2021 season, and Son put his stamp on it.

In his first year with NC, Son struggled last season with a .347 batting average in 138 games, and NC did not play fall ball. This year, Son has taken over the leadoff spot and is batting 3-for-3 in 99 games through 20 games.

On the 20th, he started in right field and batted first against the Jamsil Doosan Bears, going 5-for-4 with a home run, one RBI, and three runs scored to lead the team to a 12-5 victory. NC is three games behind third-place SSG, and Son is batting second in the league.

After falling to sixth place in May, NC has been picking up wins as they go along, climbing to fourth place and looking to catch third. In August, they have nine wins, one draw, and six losses. The main bats, including Park Min-woo, Park Gun-woo, and foreign batsmen Martin and Kwon Hee-dong, have been hitting well and scoring runs. Among them, Son As-seop has been the ‘offensive spearhead’.

Coach Kang Shin-ho also commented on Son’s performance, saying, “At the beginning of the season, it seemed like it took him a while to find his batting touch, but he’s been doing a great job since then. Thanks to him, I think our team is able to achieve and maintain results now.”

Son batted 2-for-9 in the month of April and has been hitting in the triple digits every month since. He is a player with ‘Akbari’ strength. He’s getting to be too old for the physical demands of playing first base, but he still produces hits like a hitting machine.

After making his professional debut in 2007, Son is currently ranked fourth in the KBO in career batting average (over 3000 at-bats) with a 3.321 average through the last 20 games against Doosan. NC has 42 games left in the regular season. As the race for the top spot continues to heat up, it will be interesting to see how well Son leads the team. 바카라


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