I took a breather from a dead end. This is the story of Hanwha’s foreign-born outfielder Nick Williams (30-Outfielder). Williams produced two hits, including a double, against Gochuk Kiwoom on April 25, marking his first “multi-hit” game in 11 games since April 28 against KT in Daejeon.
Williams, who came into the Hanwha uniform as a replacement for Brian O’Grady, who left the team with a dismal record, was immediately thrust into the team’s No. 4 spot, raising high hopes for the club and Hanwha fans. In his KBO debut, he went hitless in three at-bats against underhanded pitcher KT Ko Young-pyo, but he hit two doubles the next day to energize the Hanwha batting order with his long bat and aggressive base running.
On June 30, he activated the home run machine for the first time in three games against Daegu Samsung Electronics. At the time, Williams seemed like a refreshing change of pace for a team that had been thirsty for foreign hitters all season.
However, Williams’ good fortune was short-lived. In July, the “strikeouts” that were initially a concern caught up with him. Through 13 games this season, he’s batting .196 with a .532 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), but he hasn’t drawn a single walk while striking out 15 times. He’s gotten the occasional hit, but they’ve been few and far between. Time and time again, his bat has gone silent when he was supposed to be the “go-to” guy at center field. Williams is batting just .176 with runners in scoring position this season.
His batting order had to be adjusted. After batting at No. 4, he was briefly moved to No. 2 and eventually dropped to No. 7. Even in the lower, less demanding batting order, he was unable to rebound, eventually dropping to the eighth spot.
With nowhere else to go in the batting order, Williams stepped up. Batting eighth and starting in left field the day before, he pulled a 151 mph fastball from Kiwoom starter Jang Jae-young for a single to right field with runners on second and third in the top of the fourth inning, trailing 1-3. He followed that up with a cool double to left-center field with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning with a full count against Kiwoom’s Kim Sun-ki for a 12-6 lead. Williams finished the day 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and one run scored.온라인바카
Eighth-ranked Hanwha needs Williams’ rebound to fuel a mid-table run. Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho was positive about the quality of Williams’ batting the day before. Speaking before the game against Kiwoom on Saturday, Choi said, “The hit to right in his second at-bat was a good hit off a fastball. His (batting) feel was fine,” Choi said.