Will the Korean baseball team be able to beat Murakami Munetaka (23, Yakult Swallows), the “greatest” genius hitter?
Along with Shohei Otani (LA Angels), Murakami is regarded as the most perfect hitter in the Japanese national team. Last season, he recorded a batting average of 0.318, 56 home runs, and 134 RBIs, rewriting the history of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). It is worth mentioning that the Korean national team is the most threatening opponent among the opponents they will face in the first round.
His 56 home runs last year is a new record that broke the 1964 record for the most Japanese hitters (55) set by Sadaharu Oh in 58 years. The gap with Hotakawa Yamakawa, who finished second in the NPB, reached 15 points, and the gap with Kazuma Okamoto, who placed second in the Central League, reached 26 points. Murakami hit 1 home run per 8.7 at-bats, which is five times the NPB average (1 home run per 43.7 at-bats). Contrary to the rather large exterior, Murakami is also quite fast. He recorded 12 stolen bases last year (eighth in the Central League), the first time he has achieved 50 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 72 years since Makoto Kozuru (51 home runs and 28 stolen bases) in 1950. He’s perfect in everything but defense.
Even if you look at his batting performance, you can hardly see any gaps. Murakami recorded a batting average of 0.365 against fastballs last year, followed by 0.339 against sliders and 0.324 against curveballs. Against him, who is a left-handed hitter, the strategy of putting out left-handed pitchers is also largely ineffective. Having recorded a batting average of 0.322 OPS (sum of on-base percentage and slugging percentage) of 1.187 against right-handed pitchers, he was even stronger against left-handed pitchers with a batting average of 0.359 and OPS of 1.242.
Is there really no way out against Murakami? Even if the sky collapses, there is a hole that will rise. He has a very simple weakness. It is a response to manned balls that escape low from the strike zone.
Murakami’s records by batting zone reveal this point. Against left-handed pitchers, he showed weakness on low outside pitches. Basically, even though he’s strong on breaking balls, he won’t pick up balls that look like they’re coming into the strike zone and then drift out of the zone. Last year, the batting record for the ball that flew to the course was 8 at-bats, no hits, and struck out 6 times.
For right-handed pitchers, this record is more pronounced. Although it is strong in the fastball and breaking ball series, it showed a marked change when it moved to off-speed pitches such as forkballs, splitters, and changeups that fall downward.
In particular, his detailed performance with his forkball was 4 hits in 34 at-bats (2 home runs) and 12 strikeouts, with a strikeout rate of 29.3%. The splitter was also not easy to attack with a strikeout rate of 36.0%. Considering that Murakami’s strikeout rate last season was 20.9%, it can be confirmed that most of his strikeouts came because he was unable to target off-speed pitches.
Right-handed pitchers have one more weapon. Looking back at Murakami’s opponent’s swing miss heat map last season, we can see that swing misses were frequent even at the top of the strike zone. The only ball that shows strength in the high zone is the fastball. In other words, the high fastball can be the key to attacking Murakami.
In fact, Murakami recorded the second highest batting average after cutter against fastballs last year, but the strikeout rate was 20.5%, unlike the cutter (9.1%), which had the lowest strikeout rate, showing a mediocre figure. By analogy, it can be said that Murakami hits fastballs that enter the strike zone without mercy, but if he faces a high fastball that is thrown higher than the zone and induces a miss, he swings a miss for that purpose.
Fangraph.com, a major league statistics site that actually scouted Murakami Munetaka, said, “Murakami shows a weakness for high fastballs flying over the strike zone. “This could be a negative issue when he enters the MLB, when the time comes to deal with fast balls. It seems to be one of the risk factors for Murakami to fail in the MLB,” he pointed out 온라인카지노
. The Japanese national team is evaluated as the most powerful roster in the history of the tournament. Murakami is considered to be a key force among them. Although he appeared as the 6th batter in the practice game on the 7th, in the final round, other major leaguers such as Yoshida Masataka and Lars Nuthba There is a high possibility that he will overtake them and take the number 4 batter’s seat.
No matter how much Murakami is called a genius hitter, there are definitely loopholes. It can be dangerous if you throw an overly aggressive pitch and miss a pitch, but if you focus on high fastballs, falling off-speed pitches, and left-handed pitchers’ sliders, it’s worth trying. The command perfection of the type of pitch he uses is generally high, and Ko Young-pyo (KT Wiz), whose changeup is his main weapon, is like that. Ko Young-pyo was scheduled to be selected against Australia, but he thinks that if he is of that type, he can accurately counter Murakami’s weaknesses.
Of course, besides Murakami, the Japanese national team has many hitters to be wary of. In addition to Yoshida, Ohtani and Nutba mentioned above, there is also Tetsuto Yamada, who defeated South Korea consecutively at the 2019 Premier 12 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, since Murakami is in charge of the team’s cleanup hitter, wouldn’t it be easier to attack the Japanese national team hitters if he can catch Murakami? We wish the Korean national team good luck against the Japanese national team, including Murakami.