Now 29 years after winning the KS…”I gave up the batting title for the Korean Series”
The LG Twins have played the postseason the past two years without a foreign hitter. This year is different. They have Austin Dean, who batted fourth in the regular season. He stopped chasing the batting title at the end of the season and started getting fit early for the Korean Series. All in for the Korean Series.
In 139 games this season, Austin batted .301 (163-for-520) with 23 home runs, 95 RBI, 87 runs scored, a .517 on-base percentage, and an OPS of .893. Austin’s primary position is in the outfield, but injuries and poor play from Lee Jae-won, who was initially projected as a first baseman, forced Austin to play full-time first base.
He performed better than expected in the offense. In spring training, manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said of Austin, “He has the ability to respond to changeups. I think he can hit 20 home runs with a 2.08 batting average,” Yoon said.
He was ninth in batting average, third in home runs, and hit the most home runs of any foreign hitter. He was also third in RBIs.
The batting title was up for grabs at the end of the season, but after LG clinched the regular season title in early October, Austin slowed down.
“It’s not that I didn’t think about the batting title, but from the time we won the regular season title, I thought a lot about focusing on the Korean Series,” Austin said. “I could have tried to get the batting title, but I thought winning the Korean Series was a more important goal, so I let go of my individual title aspirations and focused on getting my body ready for the Korean Series.”
LG had to play the 2021 and 2022 postseasons without foreign batters. He didn’t even play in the final game of the season due to poor performance.
In 2021, Roberto Ramos (.243 batting average) was lost to injury, and his replacement, Justin Bore (.170 batting average), struggled. Last year, Rio Ruiz (.155) and Lobello Garcia (.206) were released after failing to adapt to the KBO.
Austin, who said in spring training that he was “aware of the atrocity of LG’s foreign hitters,” said he felt “no pressure,” but he broke the stigma with his outstanding performance.
“I accomplished most of my goals this year, so I’m very happy with baseball this year. It’s been fun. My teammates took care of me, so I was motivated to play again, and I knew for the first time that LG was going to win a championship after 29 years. It was a great feeling to be a part of LG’s history.”
As Austin prepares for the Korean Series, he said, “I’m trying to stay as calm as possible because it’s a big game. This is the biggest game of my baseball career so far. So there’s a lot of nerves, so I’m focusing on staying as calm as possible,” he said.
“I believe in what our team has been doing from spring training to the regular season and now to training. I’m envisioning the players, the coaching staff, and the fans collectively believing in what we’ve been doing and showing it at the end.”
“I’ve won a championship in high school,” Austin said. I haven’t won a championship since I came to the pros,” he said, adding that he is just as hungry for a championship as LG.
“I try to imagine myself getting the game-winning hit, or hitting a home run, or anything that could happen,” he said of his Korean Series imagery training, “because it can help me when the time comes.
If an LG player wins MVP of the Korean Series, he’ll get a Rolex watch. “I’d love to be the MVP,” Austin said, “but we have to win first. 온라인카지노 There will be enough opportunities for all nine starters, and someone will lead the team, so I don’t care about the MVP, I’ll just do my job and contribute to the win.”