He’s becoming an increasingly popular commodity.
LG Twins’ Shin Min-jae, who started this season as a pinch-hitter and has since become the team’s starting second baseman, has evolved from a quick table-setter to a fixer.
Shin went 5-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs in the team’s 11-2 victory over the SSG Landers at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on April 19.
Shin, who started at second base, hit a game-winning two-run double with runners on second and third in the top of the third inning after falling behind 1-0, and a two-run single to left field with one out in the top of the eighth. It was a much-needed hit with runners in scoring position.
The four RBIs are the most in a single game since his debut. He broke his own record for most RBIs in a single game with three against the Jamsil Kiwoom Heroes on April 12, just a week after setting a new record.
After spending most of last year in the second team and being forgotten, Shin Min-jae was given a new chance with the arrival of new coach Yeom Kyung-yup. He was given the task of coming up as a pinch hitter and contributing to the team’s scoring. As a result of his hard work, he gradually gained playing time and eventually made the starting lineup.
That’s when he discovered an ability he never thought he had. It was hitting. In May, he hit .370, then dropped to .275 in June, but in July, he hit .370 and .375. In August, he hit 2-for-9 with 11 RBIs.
With runners on first and second in the third inning, Shin Min-jae laid down a sacrifice bunt and chased the ball all the way to the plate. Second baseman Park Hae-min and first baseman Hong Chang-gi double-steal, and thanks to Shin Min-jae’s interference, they were safe, putting runners on second and third. The LG offense then exploded with a two-run double by Shin Min-jae.
When asked about the situation, Shin Min-jae said, “I saw the sacrifice bunt sign and wanted to lay it down, but Hae-min was running for his brother, so I didn’t.” Seeing that Park Hae-min had gotten off to a quick start, he didn’t lay down the bunt that he should have, which widened his field of vision and freed up his at-bats.
When asked about his game-winning double against Kim Kwang-hyun, Shin explained, “When I got to second or third base, the defense wasn’t in front of me. I tried to hit it as far to the right as I could, and if I hit a ground ball, it might be dangerous, so I tried to float it, so I got hit from the front.”
Shin was looking for a solid swing rather than contact. “I try to hit pitches that I don’t think I can hit, but these days I try to swing. I asked Hyun Soo-hyung, but he told me to swing harder if I’m going to go out anyway,” he said, adding, “I feel like I’m not swinging hard enough. If I can feel it, it will look like I’m going out more from the viewer’s point of view.”
You lead the league in stolen bases. I’m in the starting lineup for the first time in my life and the title is in sight. You can’t help but be greedy. Shin Min-jae also said, “Of course I want the title of stolen base king,” but he also said, “The team atmosphere is good right now, so if I’m not sure, I won’t play.” 메이저놀이터
When asked if it feels like a dream to play, run, and catch as LG’s starting second baseman, Shin Min-jae said, “I don’t know because I’m still playing. I’m not sure because I’m still playing.” He said, “I think I’ll realize it when the season is over.
LG had previously recruited veterans Jung Geun-woo and Seo Gun-chang to fill the second base spot. But the real master was buried in the dirt. Now it’s shining through.