‘I now defend like Oh Ji-hwan’ Shin Min-jae, but it’s even more surprising that he wasn’t taught.
You can’t talk about the LG Twins this season without mentioning this player. Shin Min-jae (27) has made the leap to second base. He’s realized his full potential and is leading LG to a first-place finish.
A graduate of Incheon High School, Shin was drafted by the Doosan Bears in 2015 as a developmental player before moving to LG in the 2017 KBO Secondary Draft. Even in the striped uniform, his role has been to serve as a batting leadoff hitter and defender.
Last year, he appeared in just 14 games, the fewest since his professional debut, going 0-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored.
But within a year, he turned things around. His role has changed since the arrival of manager Yoon Kyung-yup. At the beginning of the season, he was a pinch-hitter and a key defensive player, but a vacancy at second base opened up an opportunity for Shin Min-jae, and he took it.
From the end of May onwards, he started to get more and more starts and began to fulfill his potential. He has been a big help in both the offense and defense.
In 88 games, he is batting .327 with 56 hits, 21 doubles, 29 RBIs, 32 runs scored, and career highs in every metric. He leads the league in stolen bases.
He has a high batting average and the ability to solve problems. Against the Incheon SSG on April 19, he drove in four runs to lead his team to a big win.
What’s even more impressive is that his defense is getting better. When he was given the chance to play second base, Yeom Kyung-yeop said that Shin Min-jae’s defense needed to improve, so he started practicing the basics with defense coach Kim Il-kyung before games.
That’s why he’s so good on defense. He has a sense of stability. Even difficult bounds are easily caught.
“As I continue to play (defense), I see the boundary. So I can judge whether to go forward or backward,” he said.
He credits his teammates with helping him in big and small ways. When it comes to hitting, he gets advice from Kim Hyun-soo. Shin has quick feet, so if he makes an in-play hit, he has a chance to live at first base. But he doesn’t rush to hit it.
He says, “I try to hit pitches that I really don’t think I can hit, but other than that, I try to swing. I asked my brother Hyun-soo (Kim) to help me make a proper swing rather than trying to hit and run, and he told me to make my swing stronger. My coaches also told me that it’s better to hit and run solidly, so that’s what I’m doing.”
We can see that he is willing to find his own weaknesses and improve them.
Beyond advice, there are things you can learn by watching. Ventral leg sliding. It’s a sliding position that involves bending one leg inward. This move is also used in defense, and at LG, Oh Ji-hwan is the only one who uses it. 스포츠토토
However, Shin Min-jae once showed it off.
He said, “(Over the years), (Oh) Ji-hwan has seen his brother do it. I realized that if I throw normally when there are fast runners, I won’t win the game. So I tried to make it about half a tempo faster, and I think it worked. It came out without me realizing it,” he laughed, then added, “I think it came from watching my brothers do it. I don’t practice. I think I’ll get hurt practicing,” he said, causing surprise.
In this way, Shin Min-jae is gradually becoming a complete second baseman. I wonder what LG would have done without him this year.