“I’ve made 36 saves, so I’m going to hit 36 home runs”…Geoffo’s spectacular comeback from the ‘save king’

“There’s nowhere to go but down…I’ve made 36 saves, so I’ll try to hit 36 home runs.”

Ha Jae-hoon (SSG Landers) was selected by SSG’s predecessor, the SK Wyverns, with the 16th overall pick in the second round of the 2019 KBO Secondary Draft. As a pitcher in the 2019 season, he finished with a record of 5-3, 36 saves, 3 holds, and 59 innings pitched with 13 runs (13 earned) and a 1.98 ERA in 61 games.안전놀이터

Ha continued to pitch through the 2021 season, but switched to hitting in 2022. He finished the 2022 season with a disappointing .215 batting average with 23 hits, six home runs, 13 RBIs, and a .704 OPS.

Ha joined Geelong Korea after the season. After hitting .306 with 11 homers, 18 RBIs and a 1.146 OPS in 22 games for Geelong, he returned to SSG. In March, Ha suffered a shoulder injury while fielding in a practice game against the Lotte Giants in Okinawa, Japan. He fractured the head of his shoulder blade.

Ha focused on rehabilitation and recovered at a remarkable pace. He was expected to be out for the first half of the season, but he played in a Futures League game in mid-May and made his first team debut on the 25th against the Incheon LG Twins. He stole a base in his first at-bat, and the next day against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil, he started in left field as the seventh batter and went 4-for-3 with a home run, a double, a triple, and three RBIs.

Speaking to the media after the game, Ha said, “I was upset that I got hurt in the first practice game. But what can I do. Since I was injured, I waited while taking care of my body to make a quick comeback.” “The medical staff told me not to, but I exercised with a protective gear. I think the fact that I was exercising while managing my weight gave me the opportunity to come back with a good feeling.”

Ha got off to a good start in his first at-bat in the third inning. In his second at-bat, he doubled. In his third at-bat, he walked, but in his fourth at-bat in the top of the eighth, he drew a walk. In his final at-bat in the top of the ninth, he took a Kim Ho-Joon’s four-seam fastball over the left field fence. It was a three-run home run and a spectacular comeback.

Ha said of his comeback, “I took a long break. I had a good result (yesterday), so I think I was more confident in today’s game,” he said. “I thought I had to keep the feel that I got from playing a lot of games in Australia. Whether it’s a long hit or a contact, I think it’s fine. I feel like I’m getting the feel back, so I’m feeling good.”

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ha Jae-hoon had his moment. With the bases loaded and no outs, Lee hit a line drive to left-centre field. Jae-hoon quickly ran to catch the ball. If he hadn’t, it would have been a double. However, he believes his defence still needs to improve.

“I think my defence needs to improve. My movement is still lacking. I’ll get faster in the future,” he said. “The same goes for my batting. I haven’t played many games. I can’t guarantee that it will get better, but I hope it will get better as I play.”

Since returning to the first team, Ha has been hitting well, going 4-for-5 with a double, home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. Only one of his four hits was a single. He has one home run and two doubles.

Ha said, “There’s nowhere to go but down. I’m back, so I just have to do well. I don’t even think about what I can’t do. I’m only thinking about doing well, and I’m going to try harder,” he said, adding, “I’ve made 36 saves, so I’ll try to hit 36 home runs.”