Noh is competing for the home run title with Daesae-bae, who held on like an impregnable castle until last year. While following his 13-year senior, he passed him shoulder-to-shoulder and went ahead of him. The junior, who was difficult to compare, overtook him in a scary way.
These days, Hanwha Eagles infielder Noh Si-hwan (23) is the player who immediately comes to mind. It’s SSG Landers veteran Choi Jung (36). They are ranked first and second in home runs. Noh has 29 as of August 21, while Choi has 21.
The gap has widened significantly in August, but no one can say that Noh’s home run title is a foregone conclusion. The odds are in his favor, but there are many variables. Noh is scheduled to play in the Hangzhou Asian Games. Choi Jung, a three-time home run king, is a fearsome force.
Choi is considered one of the best third basemen in KBO history, along with former Han Dae-hwa. For fellow third baseman Noh Si-hwan, Choi is the senior he wants to emulate.
“Last year and the year before, I had a lot of regrets due to injuries. Choi Jung is a legend in everything he does.메이저놀이터
Photo courtesy of the Hanwha Eagles
“He’s been really consistent every season without any injuries, and I want to emulate that consistency.”
Choi has hit double-digit home runs for 18 straight years and 20 for eight straight. He has 450 career home runs.
Noh and Choi have a connection. After his worst slump last year, Noh wanted to meet with a senior for advice. Noh Soo-kwang, a former SK Wyverns player, built a bridge.
“During the SSG game, I went to the dugout and asked him a lot of questions about what I should think about when I’m having a bad game and how to keep my cool when I’m having a good game. He passed on his know-how. He told me how to overcome when things aren’t going well, which helped me a lot.”
Each player has a different swing mechanics and style, so the technical part is only a reference. “I learned about timing and fighting the ball count,” said Noh. This is something that requires experience and seasoning.
It’s ironic that I’m competing with a senior who helped me last year. Not just the home run king, but the best by position
There’s even a Golden Glove at stake.
Choi won the Golden Glove at third base from 2011-2013, 2016-2017, 2019, and 2021-2022. If he can surpass Choi for the home run title, he will likely win the Golden Glove and the regular season MVP trophy.
After hitting just six home runs last year, Noh struggled with his identity as a home run hitter. After hitting 18 in 2021, his home runs plummeted, and he felt a sense of crisis.
“I thought a lot about whether home runs were the direction I should go,” he said. After thinking about it, Noh made a change.
“I want to be the home run king unconditionally, but I don’t know the specific number yet. I never thought about surpassing Choi Jung and Lee Seung-yup.”
Choi only hit two home runs in July and August.