Guillermo Heredia (32), who was selected as SSG’s new foreign hitter this season, is a player with a body that is not big for a foreign player. He rather tends to be dwarfed by domestic players. He’s more of a tool player with strengths in ball, defense, and land than he’s a big gun.
He plays hard, and he plays hard on defense. He is sincere and full of energy. However, there is no team that only wants this from a foreign hitter. Hitting is basic. Heredia, who debuted in the major leagues in 2016 and played until last year, was not classified as a good hitting player in the major leagues. He played 591 major league games over 7 years and recorded a batting average of 0.231. But he wasn’t the type to choose a lot of walks, and he wasn’t even a big shot. This is the reason why many expressed concerns about the choice of SSG.
However, Heredia is cruising early in the season with a shorter adaptation period than any of the new foreign players. He has a batting average of 0.357, 3 homers, 27 RBIs, 4 stolen bases, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.901 in the first 33 games of his season through the 13th. He had 45 hits, putting him in the competition for the most hits as well. If it weren’t for the ‘absurd injury’ in which he sprained his wrist while carrying a bag in the middle of a good hitting situation and missed three games, he was in a position to aim for first place in the league. Even now, the distance to number one is not that far.안전놀이터
It was already shown in the data that he was relatively patient with manned pitches and made good contact on balls coming into the zone. But that and batting average are different. A hit is made only when the ball is hit with good direction and high exit velocity. But Heredia isn’t really a player with a particularly fast average exit velocity. As far as hit count goes, he’s not in the top tier. Still, many hits are being made.
The secret is the ability to send multiple balls to multiple courses. It seems that the swing is just coming out, but the so-called area that fits the bat is wide. SSG quality control coach Jeong Kyung-bae said, “Heredia has so many positive aspects. Everyone thought that way even when he watched the video when he was playing in the United States.” If there are many and varied hit points, misses will lead to in-play anyway, and if there are more in-play hits, the probability of making hits is higher than swings.
Heredia’s hitting form is very unique. There aren’t many hitters who hit like that in the KBO league. He has a low stance. Start with the bat low. In that position, the swing comes out quickly, so there is no choice but to hit the ball more. If that’s the case, everyone would probably write in that form, but the reason it’s not is because it’s hard to follow. After saying, “It is very difficult to hit the ball in such a low position,” Coach Jeong explained, “But because he does it, the hit ball flies to the left or right center and becomes a hit.”
▲ Heredia is expecting future activity with better detailed indicators in May ⓒSSG Landers
Heredia has the power to send well-hit balls over the outfielder’s height, but some of her hits have been misdirected hits that land in front of the outfielder. If it were other players, the hit ball would not leave the infield or would be a foul, but Heredia has a wide area to hit anyway, so he has a knack for making contact and sending it outside the infield with an impact. This year, Heredia’s BABIP is on the high side at 0.400, which is somewhat related to this batting style.
In the beginning, such a hit was made and the hurdle was passed, and basically, as the batting average recorded on the electronic board increased, a virtuous cycle continued in which the player found stability and hit better. His slugging percentage improved from May, and his bat turns more confidently and sharper in scoring position.
According to the tally of ‘Trackman’, which provides tracking data to 9 KBO league teams, Heredia’s average batting speed in April was 133.8 km per hour, and the rate of hitting balls over 155 km, which can be called hard hits, was 23.5%. However, in May, his average batting speed jumped to 149.4 km, and the ratio of batting balls over 155 km reached 47.6%. He is good at hitting and swings confidently, so the contact rate for breaking balls has also increased. He doesn’t care whether he’s left-handed or right-handed. No player is without a slump, but at least that’s why you can bet on the possibility of Heredia producing hits consistently.