Traditionally, the number 4 hitter has been mainly played by Geopo in the team. However, LG’s fourth hitter this season will be played by Oh Ji-hwan (33), who boasts sophisticated hitting rather than the feel of a giant cannon. He himself half-jokingly, half-seriously, he said, “Can you take it out of number 4?”, but the command tower’s belief is firm.
Oh Ji-hwan was dropped as the fourth hitter for the LG Twins this year. Of course, he won’t be hitting number 4 all season. The batting order naturally changes depending on various situations that occur during the season. But for now, LG’s fourth hitter is Oh Ji-hwan.
The reason is the firm belief of director Yeom Gyeong-yeop, the commanding tower. Director Yeom sent strong trust, saying, “I hit more than 20 home runs while using Jamsil Stadium as my home. What more needs to be said?”
Oh Ji-hwan, captain of the LG Twins, participated in 142 games last year, posting a batting average of 0.269, 25 home runs, 87 RBIs and 20 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.827. 14 years after his debut, he had his best season, winning the first Golden Glove in his arms.
He showed perfect appearance in defense and running, and he maximized his own strengths by equipping himself with a bigger one than anything else. He hit 20 home runs in the 2016 season. However, it was Oh Ji-hwan who only hit 8 (2017) – 11 (2018) – 9 (2019) – 10 (2020) – 8 (2021) home runs. 메이저놀이터
Oh Ji-hwan, who was like that, hit 25 home runs last season. Not only the team’s first place in home runs, but also the league as a whole, it was fourth after KT Park Byeong-ho (35), Samsung Pirella (28), and SSG Choi Jeong (26). Eventually, following Lee Jong-beom (1996-1997), Kang Jeong-ho (2012), and Kim Ha-seong (2016/2020), he became the 4th shortstop in KBO league history (6th by record) to achieve 20 homers and 20 steals.
Based on this big success, he became the main character of the LG Twins club’s first multi-year contract. It was a condition of a total of 12.4 billion won (guarantee amount of 10 billion won, option of 2.4 billion won) for 6 years of his contract period. In addition, he played an active role as a national representative in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) following the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In this demonstration game, he consistently played as the 4th hitter and finished it brilliantly. He appeared in 11 games and marked a batting average of 0.280 (7 hits in 25) with 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 5 stolen bases and 10 walks, a slugging percentage of 0.400 and an on-base percentage of 0.486. Although he did not hit a home run, he showed off his starting prowess, picking up 10 walks.
Manager Yeom said, “Oh Ji-hwan will take the 2nd, 4th and 5th batting order this season. He asked me to take it out of the 4th hitter (laughs), and he said that the 6th batting order is good, but I said ‘sure 4th hitter’.” Along with his belief in himself, his confidence has also increased. If he improves his accuracy, it is possible to hit 30 home runs,” he said again, revealing his faith. Indeed, attention is focused on what kind of power LG’s ‘No. 4 Oh Ji-hwan card’ will show this season.