Going against the grain? Not so much for the July MVP.
NC Jason Martin said in an interview during a three-game home series against KIA in Changwon at the end of last month, “I raised my arm height a little bit, and it got better.” He analyzed that he was able to withstand low changeup pitches and started to cope with high balls. Because of his short stature, it’s more realistic for him to raise his arm to deal with high pitches.
A side injury to start the season didn’t help matters. In 18 games in May, he hit just .239 with one home run and seven RBIs. But he rebounded with a .304 average with three homers and 15 RBIs in 23 games in June, and then exploded with a .359 average with five homers, 20 RBIs and nine runs scored in 17 games in July.
Manager Kang Myung-ho analyzed that the clue came when Martin began to tolerate the pitches that KBO pitchers are known for. It could be said that he has crossed the “traditional gateway” for foreign hitters to succeed. If his form deteriorates, he could struggle again, and he’s not exactly striking out a ton right now. He’s struck out seven times in his last four games. But at least he’s not swinging at ridiculous pitches as his form slumps.
In a way, he’s bucking the trend. Hitters in the KBO these days don’t have as high of a grip on the bat, preferring to keep their arms low and get the ball to the plate as quickly as possible. You can see this in the Major Leagues with hitters who attack 160 mph fastballs.
In any case, once you’re in the batting stance, you want to move your center of gravity quickly to your hitting point, and you want to move your point forward to produce long balls. In that regard, Martin’s arm height is a different change than most. Even when he hit 32 home runs in Triple-A in 2022, his arm wasn’t as high as it is now.메이저놀이터
Maybe it’s a testament to how smart he is. He’s a situational hitter. If you look at Martin’s recent at-bats, it’s not like his arm is getting much higher. Still, he’s been able to handle the fastballs of KBO pitchers, and he’s been able to pick apart changeups. The result is a high batting average and a July MVP nomination.
Martin took a bit of a breather in the first three games of August against Lotte, going 3-for-11, but he also drew three walks and is getting better at adapting to the KBO environment. The long balls are coming. It’s refreshing for NC fans to see Martin scratch the Achilles heel of the NC bats. This is what the Triple-A home run king looks like.