When Samsung and KIA made a trade for infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk (pictured) and catcher Kim Tae-gun on March 5, the focus was more on 토토사이트 KIA. Kia, in the midst of a five-way battle for the top spot, was bolstering its weakness at catcher. Samsung was also able to fill a gap in its infield defense with Ryu’s transfusion, but it was widely viewed as an underdog move.

Forty days later, we’re starting to hear Ryu’s name more and more than Kim’s, especially since his arrival, and the team has turned things around. Before the trade, Samsung was in last place with a 28-46 record and a 0.378 winning percentage. However, after Ryu’s arrival, the team had a positive win-loss margin of 14 wins, 1 draw, and 12 losses with a winning percentage of 0.538 after 15 days. The team moved up one spot to No. 9.

Ryu’s personal stats are also good. After batting .268 (59-for-220) in 66 games for KIA before the move, Ryu has surpassed the triple digits with a .303 (30-for-99) batting average in 27 games for Samsung. His RBI production has also increased significantly with Samsung. Despite playing less than half the games for Samsung, he has 18 RBIs, surpassing his 17 RBIs with KIA. Ryu Ji-hyuk, who struggled a bit after the move, is batting .463 (19-for-41) with one home run, 11 RBIs, and five doubles in August alone.

Since Ryu’s arrival, the Samsung lineup is batting .298 (285-for-955), good for first place in the 10-team field. The bullpen is weak, but if the mound was good, the team could have won six games in a row.

Ryu Ji-hyeok also hit a two-run single with the bases loaded and the score tied at 2-2 in the sixth inning against LG Electronics in Daegu on May 15. His hit proved to be the game-winning hit as Samsung won 6-5.

Ryu’s value shines not only on offense, but also on defense. Ryu, who can play every position in the infield, started at second base in Game 15 and then moved to third base later in the game. Ryu’s ability to defend anywhere in the infield gives manager Park Jin-man even more versatility.

Since the inception of the Korean Baseball Organization in 1982, Samsung has never finished in last place. As recently as July, the team was favored to finish last for the first time in the franchise’s history, but they’ve been on a roll in August and are slowly reducing the odds. It will be interesting to see if Ryu Ji-hyeok, the “belly of the beast,” can spearhead Samsung’s defense against last place.

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