“Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh) will benefit a lot from the new rules”
New rules will be applied to the major leagues from the 2023 season. Infield defensive shifts are prohibited. All infielders must take a defensive position on the infield dirt. Also, there must be two players on each side of second base.
On the 3rd (Korean time), the American media ‘Rumbentor’ said, “The defensive shift ban is likely to lead to more hits,” and “The Pittsburgh Pirates have players who will benefit greatly from the new rule change.” 스포츠토토
The first player that ‘Rumbentor’ picked was Carlos Santana. Santana signed a one-year, $6.725 million (approximately 8.3 billion won) contract with Pickberg ahead of this season. ‘Rumbentor’ said, “Santana was the player who faced the most defensive shifts among left-handed batters last season. He recorded 98.1%.” “Santana is still powerful even though he is 36 years old. , but his xwOBA (expected weighted on-base percentage) based on launch and exit velocity was 0.352. More balls should go outfield for Santana.”
Following Santana, Choi Ji-man was also mentioned. Regarding Choi Ji-man, who wore a Pittsburgh uniform through this season’s trade, the media said, “Choi Ji-man will also benefit a lot from the new rules. Choi Ji-man recorded a defensive shift of 83.9%.” recorded a wOBA of 0.308, He recorded a wOBA of 0.415 in 67 at-bats without a defensive shift. For reference, Paul Goldschmidt’s wOBA is 0.418.”
He added, “Choi Ji-man recorded xwOBA 0.334 last season. Considering how productive Choi Ji-man was without shift, you will see wOBA reach 0.344.”
Choi Ji-man had a somewhat disappointing season last season, recording 83 hits in 356 at-bats, 11 homers, 52 RBIs, a batting average of 0.233 and an OPS of 0.729. After this season, Choi Ji-man, who is eligible for free agent (FA), is looking forward to what results he will produce this season, when the defensive shift is gone.