Luis Araez (26, Miami infielder), who won the American League (AL) batting title last year, is showing a more surprising pace this year. As of the 13th (Korean time), Araez has a batting average of 0.386 (49 hits in 127 at-bats), 1 home run and 13 RBIs in 35 games this season. He also has an excellent OPS of 0.916, a combination of on-base percentage and slugging percentage.토토사이트
Araez, who maintained a batting average of 40% until the last 10th, is comfortably maintaining the first place in the major leagues in this category. He is more than four pennies ahead of the 0.345 of Ronald Acuna Jr. (26, Atlanta), who is second in batting average. In a recent interview with Star News at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, Araez said humbly, “Is there a secret to hitting well? Anyone can hit well.”
A native of Venezuela, Araez turned pro in 2013 by signing an international amateur contract with Minnesota. And six years later, in May 2019, he made his major league debut. It took him a long time to rise to the big leagues, but his performances thereafter were enough to earn him the title of ‘Master of Hitting’.
In the first year of his debut, Araez, who played 92 games and posted decent results with a batting average of 0.334, 4 home runs and 28 RBIs, recorded a high batting average of over 30% every year except for 2021 (0.294). Last year, he played 144 games and became the American League batting leader with a batting average of 0.316, 8 homers and 49 RBIs. He was selected as an All-Star and won the Silver Slugger Award.
Even when he moved to Miami of the National League (NL) through a trade in January, the prevailing view was that it would take time to adapt to the new league. But this was nothing more than a whim.
Araez proved with his skills that there is no problem even if the league changes by recording a cycling hit against Philadelphia on April 12th. This was the first ever cycling hit for the Miami team.
Araez’s striking appearance.
Next, Q&A with Araez.
- What are your personal goals for this season, such as batting average or home runs?
▶ My only goal is to complete the season in good health. It’s okay to look back on your individual performance after completing the season. It’s so nice and thankful to be able to play baseball. I’ve been working really hard for this.
- This season has a good hitting feeling. If you have any tips.
▶ Is there such a secret? If there is anyone, everyone will play well. First of all, you have to work hard every moment. It should be. don’t know what the outcome will be (Laughs) I feel like I’m still being rewarded for my hard work. So thank you.
- Following last year’s American League batting champion, it is likely that he will become the National League batting champion this year.
▶ (crossing hands) It is too early to talk about the batting title. The season still has a lot left. I’m ahead now, but no one knows what will happen in the future. There may be someone who is better than me, or on the contrary, I may suddenly not be able to do it.
- When did baseball start?
▶ It must have been when I was 6 or 7 years old. I came in contact with baseball while learning from my father, and after that, I liked baseball and continued. I think I vaguely dreamed of becoming a professional at that time.
- What was the happiest moment after starting baseball?
▶ There are many moments, but in my case, I was the happiest when I was called up to the major leagues and played my first game. It must have been because it was the moment of becoming a major league player, which I had vaguely dreamed of since I was a child. How happy you must have been to have your dream come true.
- I wonder what you usually do on days when there are no matches.
▶ I really like video games. So, unless I have a special appointment or schedule, I just play video games all day at home. (Laughs) It’s really fun, and I like it.
Araez practicing defense. /Photo = Correspondent Lee Sang-hee
- Experienced all positions in the infield. the most comfortable seat.
▶ When he entered the professional league, he signed a contract as a shortstop. But he has experience at first base, second base, third base and even shortstop. Right now, I mainly play as a second baseman, but I am ready to play in any position in the infield if the team wants it. There is no position that is particularly comfortable or covered. Team comes first.
- I’ve dealt with various pitchers so far. If you pick the most demanding pitcher.
▶ There are no easy pitchers in the major leagues. Every pitcher and every moment is tricky. But there is one thing I order myself. Whoever the opponent is, let’s never strike out. He really hates being struck out (9 strikeouts in 142 plate appearances this season). I want to create results every moment at the plate.
- Last year, I saw an interview saying that he wanted to bring his mother back home. I wonder if she brought it.
▶ For various reasons, I haven’t brought it yet. thank you for asking It will take some time, but I want to bring her mother and all her family to America. So it will be.
- Finally, what advice would you give to young players who want to become major league players?
▶ Look at me. Although his physical condition (178 cm, 79 kg) is not outstanding, he became a major league player. It’s not something young players can’t do if they work hard and do their best. However, you have to work harder than anyone else. There are many difficulties before coming to the major leagues. It’s never an easy road. However, if I do my best without giving up with the belief that I can do it, young players can become like me.