Medina, batting average against left-handed hitters is 0.365… Needs a change in the ball mix

The KIA Tigers have won 8 wins (2 losses) in the last 10 games and climbed to 4th place in the league (13 wins 12 losses). The batting line, which was weak at the beginning of the season, and the bullpen, which were shaken, are on the right track. It is all the more encouraging because it is a rebound that main hitters such as Na Seong-beom and Kim Do-young missed due to injuries. 

KIA’s concern is the skill of one of the foreign pitchers, Adonis Medina (27). He went 1-4 with an ERA of 6.92 in 5 games he started. He made two quality starts (6 or more innings, 3 earned runs or less), but gave up 5 or more runs in all three other appearances.

The biggest problem is the weakness against left-handed hitters. The batting average against right-handed hitters is 0.250, which is not bad. Against left-handed batters, it is a whopping 0.365. His slugging percentage was 0.524. Even considering that Medina is a right-handed pitcher, it is too high.

In the game against Kiwoom Heroes on the 24th of last month, Medina received 10 hits only from left-handed hitters. Even in his most recent appearance against the Lotte Giants on the 2nd, he failed to stop left-handed batters Min-seok Kim and Jin-hyuk Noh, and was knocked out early (5 runs in 3 innings).

Medina’s primary weapon is his two-seam fastball. KIA also recruited him in December of last year and introduced him as “a sinker (two-seam) thrown as a deciding ball is powerful.” KIA coach Kim Jong-guk also observed the pitching in the spring camp training and demonstration games and evaluated that “the two-seam movement is good.”

To a left-handed hitter, the right-handed pitcher’s two-seam seems to flow from the inside out. It means that it is difficult to hit the hitting point. For that reason, Medina, who uses two-seam as her main weapon, seemed not to be weak against left-handed hitters.

However, the fighting spirit revealed in the actual battle lacked power. First of all, the control power is inconsistent. On April 14th, against Kiwoom, Medina threw a two-seam in a match against Lee Jung-hoo at the end of the first inning and Park Ju-hong at the end of the second inning and got a hit. Catcher Han Seung-taek sat on the outside (based on left-handed batters) and put his mitt on, but the ball was driven to the center. Even in the 4th inning against Kim Hye-sung, the catcher ordered a high course outside, but the ball went low.메이저사이트

There are also ups and downs in the movement of the ball. There were some balls that went in with a big curve, but there were also times when the ball went in with little movement, like a slightly quick changeup.

The batter seems to be dealing with Medina’s two-seam as if he were attacking a four-seam fastball (fastball) without being aware of the movement of the ball. In the match against Lotte on the 2nd, Kim Min-seok in the first inning and Noh Jin-hyeok in the 3rd inning all made hits outside Medina without pushing.

Medina’s two-seam usage rate this season is 54.3%. The effect is unremarkable. 

William Cuevas, who led the KT Wiz unified victory in 2021, insisted on a head-to-head match in his first season (2019). After a meeting with KT coach Lee Kang-cheol, he changed the ball formula and pitched much better. 

Coach Kim Jong-guk also said from the demonstration game, “You will have to understand the KBO League hitters well and adapt quickly.” He conveyed the message to Medina that the rate of ball use should be increased. Is there any reason for Medina to insist on two seams? He seems unlikely to survive without change.

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