“Slugging percentage is more important than batting average” Hong Chang-ki reflects on his hot May
LG Twins leadoff hitter Chang-ki Hong continued his hot bat on the first day of June. He was the sparkplug of the offense and helped the team win a three-game midweek series.
Starting at first base and batting in right field in Game 6 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the Lotte Giants at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on June 1, Hong went 1-for-2 with a home run, a run scored, and two walks to help LG win 6-1.
From the very first at-bat, Hong set the tone for the offense with her trademark leadoff single. She led off the first inning with a walk and stole second base against Lotte starter Charlie Barnes. She advanced to third on a single to left by Moon Sung-ju and scored on a single by Kim Hyun-soo to give the team the lead.먹튀검증
Hong’s performance continued. After drawing another walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning, he extended his hitting streak to five games with a clean single to left field in his third at-bat of the fifth inning.
He also dazzled on defense. In the top of the seventh inning, with LG leading 5-0, Lotte’s leadoff hitter Ko Seung-min caught a long fly ball to right-center field that crashed into the fence after a pinpoint drop. Sensing at least a double, Go Seung-min turned to the dugout in disbelief at the umpire’s out call, and the LG fans on first base erupted in cheers.
LG swept Lotte and remained in first place, one game ahead of second-place SSG Landers, thanks to strong performances from its leadoff hitters, including Hong Chang-ki, and ace Adam Plutko, who dominated the game with a seven-inning no-hitter.
Hong’s .332 season batting average through the day remains the highest in the league, let alone the LG. He also leads the league in hits (63) and slugging percentage (0.446).
In particular, he batted .384 (33-for-86) in 23 games in May, helping LG to a 16-6-1 monthly record and a +10 win-loss margin. LG head coach Yeom Kyung-yeop also pointed to Hong Chang-ki as one of the reasons for the team’s favorable performance in May.
“In May, the team won a lot and my individual performance was good, so it was a very good month,” said Hong. “Not only me, but all the players in general did well. Flutco threw well, and (Lim) Chanyu, (Park) Dongwon, and (Park) Hae-min were also very good, so I think we were able to accumulate a lot of wins.”
For now, he’s shyly satisfied with his personal record. “It’s not easy to be No. 1 in batting, so it’s still a good feeling,” he laughed.
As the leader of LG’s charge, Hong’s main concern is his batting average. While he doesn’t have much of a desire to hit and get the most hits, he said he wants to focus on making the most of his long term ability to get on base.
“I’ve said it many times in interviews, and I always say it, but I think the most important thing for a first baseman is the on-base percentage,” Hong said. “Coach Yoon Kyung-yup encouraged me that I don’t have to be a little grasshopper when I don’t have good results. He told me that it’s important to be consistent, so I try not to think about it (when I’m having a bad day) as much as possible and go to the plate, and I think I’m getting better and better.”
He also expressed his pride in the team’s current ranking, saying, “I think LG is a strong team because we didn’t have a losing series in May and we can change the mood right away without losing.”