April 12, 2021

Buried in the LG Twins’ Lineup, a Korean Baseball Great (FanGraphs)

On the mound is Ricardo Pinto. He’s 26 years old. At 6-feet and 195 pounds, he has a muscular build that immediately makes him look like an athlete. He’s struggling through this particular appearance, thanks to command issues and some iffy defense behind him, but he hasn’t really been hit hard. His low-to-mid 90s heat is on the faster side of what Korean Baseball Organization hitters typically see, and he leans on it heavily.

At the plate, with the bases loaded and two outs, is Yong Taik Park 박용택. He’s 41 years old. He wears glasses in the batter’s box. As he awaits each pitch, he stands with his front foot resting nearly on the edge of the box behind him. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, he doesn’t differ dramatically from Pinto in size, but his baggier uniform makes him look tall and thin.

Pinto begins his violent delivery, and Park brings his front foot square with the plate. As the ball approaches, he twitches it slightly, perhaps as a way to subtly maintain his timing. Finally, at the last moment, his bat explodes through the baseball as Park uncorks his whole body to turn on a pitch high and tight. It’s a gorgeous left-handed swing, and it produces a…

Read “Buried in the LG Twins’ Lineup, a Korean Baseball Great” at FanGraphs