1m73cm shortest foreigner… hit rate 0.161, ‘size controversy’ dismissed
Little giant’ Kirk McCarty (28, SSG Landers) calmed down the ‘size controversy’ with his skills.
McCarty started the home game against the KT Wiz on the 4th, giving up no runs with 2 hits, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts in 6 innings. McCarty, who led the team to a 10-2 victory, took his third win (one loss) of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.25 (2.70 before the game). In particular, he lowered his batting average from 0.170 (3rd) to 0.161, leading the league. If you narrow the range to the last 5 games, both the average ERA (0.28) and the batting average (0.094) are figures that can be seen in cartoons.
When SSG announced the recruitment of McCarty in December of last year, concerns were as great as expectations. At the root of the concern was his short stature (1m73cm). The average height of 30 foreign players in the KBO League this season is 1m86.7cm. Among the 20 pitchers, McCarty is the only one whose height does not exceed 1m80cm. Compared to the tallest groups Eric Peddy (NC Dinos) and Sean Anderson (KIA Tigers, over 1m93cm), he is the shortest at 10 cm.
SSG only saw the positives. I erased the prejudice that height gives. McCarty is an active big leaguer registered on the Cleveland Guardians 40-man roster, and it was not easy for the KBO League club to sign. He debuted in the major leagues (MLB) last year and recorded an average earned run average of 4.54 with 4 wins and 3 losses. Using the advantage of being a left-handed pitcher, the batting average for left-handed batters was only 0.129 (0.295 for right-handed batters). SSG put a lot of effort into recruiting.
Departure was uneasy. McCarty was shaken with 10 hits and 8 runs in 3rd and 1/3 innings against the KIA Tigers on April 2, his KBO League debut. At the scene, there was also an evaluation saying, “As expected, the height is low, so the power is low.” However, he changed 180 degrees from the second appearance. On the 9th, against the Hanwha Eagles, he won his first win with a good pitch with 6 innings, 1 hit and no runs. After that, the pace is close to ‘impregnable’.
Considering that he collapsed greatly in the first game, it is a series of twists and turns. An official from the club’s power analysis said, “Compared to the first game, I think it has improved by controlling the pace well. I used a lot of curves (12% in the first game → 18% thereafter) and threw a cut fastball slowly, so I became good at controlling speed.” McCarty’s cut fastball speed decreased from 140.8 km/h in the first game to 136.6 km/h later. However, his power has improved.안전놀이터
An official said, “It’s difficult to match the timing of the fastball, so there are a lot of misses in the fastball. In the first game, if we pitched only with strength, now it feels like we are well aware of the tendencies of domestic batters and are targeting them.” As expected by SSG, McCarty is making a soft landing in the KBO League. Even if he is called a ‘little giant’, his performance is unmatched.