Will KIA Tigers Socrates Brito (30) be able to achieve better results next year?
KIA renewed the contract with Socrates on the 8th of last month for a total of 1.1 million dollars (300,000 down payment, 500,000 annual salary, and 300,000 dollars in options).
Socrates suffered sluggishness at the beginning of the season, and in July, he was hit in the face by a ball from Kim Gwang-hyeon (SSG) and missed about a month. However, in the end, he achieved satisfactory results with a batting average of 301.1 (160 hits in 514 bats), 17 homers, 77 RBIs, and an OPS of .848 in 127 games.
KIA’s main catcher Park Dong-won entered the FA market and signed a 4-year contract with LG for a total of 6.5 billion won. It is not a small blow because Park Dong-won played a significant role in the defense as well as in the other line. Socrates needs to show better performances next year.
Looking at Jose Pirella (Samsung), who had a successful second-year season this year, there is much room for expectations for Socrates’ second-year season as well. This is because Pirella and Socrates are similar types of others.
Both Pirella and Socrates are players who are a bit far from typical big foreign hitters. It’s not that he doesn’t have power, but rather than a home run hitter, he’s more like a mid-to-long-distance hitter who can aim for both high batting average and long hits.
Pirella recorded a batting average of .286 (158 hits in 553 at-bats), 29 home runs, 97 RBIs, and an OPS of .855 in 140 games last year, the first season of the KBO League. He had a successful debut season, even though he suffered from chronic foot pain. And this year, he recorded a batting average of 342 (192 hits in 561 bats), 28 homers, 109 RBIs, and an OPS of .976 in 141 games, achieving results comparable to Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), who won the MVP.
Combining decent contact, quick feet, and power, Pirella doesn’t walk very often due to his aggressive nature, but he’s not a hitter who strikes out easily. He had a 12.9% strikeout rate and 8.7% walk rate per at-bat this year.
Socrates, like Pirella, is an aggressive swinger, but he doesn’t strike out a lot. His strikeout rate was 14.6% and his walk rate was 6.1%, similar to Pirella’s debut season (strikeout rate 14.3% and walk rate 9.2%). After adapting to the strike zone in the KBO League, he can hit better like Pirella in his second year.
However, it may not be easy for Socrates to achieve such a dramatic improvement in performance as Pirella. One of the reasons Pirella has been able to do better this year is that his BABIP (in play) has soared to .361 this year from .295 last year. Socrates’ BABIP this year is .341, which is already well above the league average (.307), so the increase is likely to be limited. 안전놀이터
Fans are very excited about whether Socrates, who was loved for his outstanding grades and addictive cheering songs, will be able to have a successful second season.