SSG Landers outfielder Ha Jae-hoon (33) has been flying in his return from injury. He’s come into his own as a hitter.
In his first game of the second half of the season on July 21 against Jamsil LG, Ha started in the sixth spot in left field and went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, two stolen bases, and two runs scored.
He has already suffered two broken bones this season, but he has bounced back like an owl. In his second season as a pitcher-turned-hitter, he’s starting to establish himself as a legitimate hitter.
Ha joined SK (now SSG) in 2019. After graduating from high school, he signed with the Chicago Cubs in the United States and tried to make it to the major leagues, but injuries prevented him from doing so, and he returned to the KBO after playing in Nippon Professional Baseball and the Japanese Independent League.
After playing as a hitter in the U.S. and Japan, Ha joined SK and started anew as a pitcher. SK’s then-manager Yoon Kyung-yup, who is now LG’s manager, selected the fastball-throwing Ha to be a pitcher.
It worked. In his rookie year, Ha started out in the bullpen and moved into the closer’s role, going 5-3 with a 1.98 ERA in 61 games with 36 saves and a save title.
The following year, however, he suffered a shoulder injury that limited him to a 1-1 record and four saves in 15 games (7.62 ERA), and in 2021, the shoulder injury persisted and he was unable to regain his form, going 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 18 games. 스포츠토토
The shoulder injury forced him to switch from pitching to hitting. In 60 games last year, he showed promise, batting 2-for-23 (107 RBI) with six home runs and a .456 on-base percentage.
Prior to this season, he showed good at-bats in evaluations leading up to the Florida camp and spring training in Okinawa, Japan, but suffered a fractured shoulder blade at the end of the Okinawa camp and had to undergo a lengthy rehabilitation.
Ha made his first appearance in the first team at the end of May and energized the team with a triple-double. On June 11, he fractured his left thumb while attempting to steal second base against the Changwon NC. After hitting well in 14 games with a 3-for-4 record, two home runs and an OPS of 1.024, Ha entered another rehabilitation.