The Hanwha Eagles’ outfield is on pace to break their all-time worst record once again.
With 45 games played as of May 29, Hanwha is 16-26, 3 ties, and a .381 winning percentage, good for ninth place, just 0.5 games ahead of the KT Wiz. 먹튀검증 As low as Hanwha is in the team standings, most of their team records are also in the bottom half, with their hitters performing worse than their pitchers (10th in team batting WAR at 2.28 / 4th in pitching WAR at 6.27).
Most notably, Hanwha’s outfield is on pace to be the worst in franchise history. This season, Hanwha’s team outfield batting WAR is a negative -1.41. This is the second-worst mark in KBO history. The lowest WAR was -3.81 in the 2021 season. Other metrics such as batting average (0.191), OPS (0.517), and wRC+ (50.7) are also among the lowest in KBO history.
After one of the worst outfields in history in 2021, Hanwha brought in foreign-born slugger Mike Tuckman for the 2022 season, and it certainly paid off. Last year, Hanwha’s team outfield batting WAR rebounded to 3.41. While this was the lowest of the 10 teams, it was a remarkable turnaround from the previous year’s -3.81 WAR, but a closer look reveals that Tuckman alone had a WAR of 4.98, while the rest of the outfield was barely a contributor.
Tuckman was a proven center fielder, but Hanwha was unwilling to re-sign him. In the end, Hanwha chose Brian O’Grady, who had the lowest batting average in Japan, over Tuckman. After failing to re-sign, Tuckman returned to the United States and signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs.
Two months into the season, Hanwha and Tuckman have a mixed history. O’Grady, Hanwha’s replacement for Tuckman, ranks last in the league with a WAR of -0.86 despite playing just 22 games and 86 at-bats. Without a center fielder to anchor the outfield, only Lee Jin-young (0.09), Noh Soo-kwang (0.08), and Jang Un-ho (0.04) are barely posting positive WAR.
Meanwhile, in a Cubs uniform, Tuckman has fulfilled his dream of returning to the majors. With Cody Bellinger’s injury leaving a hole in the outfield, the Cubs called him up to the big leagues. Seizing the opportunity, Tuckman has exceeded expectations, batting .333 (8-for-24) with an OPS of .842 in nine games. On Sept. 29 against the Cincinnati Reds, he recorded his first three-hit game in the majors in two years.
Tuckman is gone, and Hanwha is left with a sour taste in its mouth. O’Grady, who led the charge to rewrite the black history of the Hanwha outfield, is now facing a midseason exit. For now, it’s a bad move on the part of the Rangers to give up on a proven player who has helped elevate one of the worst outfields in franchise history.