Noh was informed by Hanwha on April 24 that he could not renew his contract. After the end of the season, he had completed all remaining training sessions in Seosan and was preparing for the next season, but unfortunately his relationship with Hanwha ended there.
“My performance this year was not good,” Noh said after accepting the decision. “I am in good physical condition. I have continued to exercise and my speed has not dropped. I am fine running, and I have practiced batting a lot. I think I am fully capable of playing as a player yet. I did not play in many matches in the first division this year, but I continued to play in the second division and practiced just as well as my juniors.”
Noh Soo-kwang, who started as the first hitter in the opening game with a batting average of .35 (7 hits in 20 at-bats) and an on-base percentage of .519 in this year’s exhibition game, however, finished the season with a batting average of .221 in 30 games (17 hits in 77 at-bats) with 13 walks and an on-base percentage of .326. The season ended without receiving a call-up from the first team after going down to the second team on May 15 in the seventh inning of the match against Munhak SSG on May 14th.
In the Futures League, he recorded a batting average of 298 (34 hits in 114 times at bat) with 15 RBIs and 22 walks with a on-base percentage of 0.43 percent in 39 games. He worked harder than anyone else in training with younger juniors. He even volunteered to practice hitting early in the middle of summer. “It was mentally challenging, but I persevered with the mindset that an opportunity will come,” he said.
Although this season was disappointing, Noh Soo-kwang was once a semi-jok outfielder representing the league. After joining Hanwha as a fostering player in 2013, he was traded to KIA, SK and Hanwha three times, recording a batting average of 269 (631 hits in 2,348 at-bats) with 28 home runs, 220 RBIs, 378 runs, 237 walks, 123 steals, and a 341 on-base percentage in 770 games in the first division’s 10 seasons. 안전놀이터
He had a career-high season with SK in 2018 as he recorded a batting average of 313 (hit 161 in 515 times at bat) with eight homers, 53 RBIs, 43 runs scored, 25 steals, and a .383 on-base percentage. In 2019, he garnered the most 27 steals per season by an individual. He returned to his hometown team Hanwha through a trade in June 2020, and played for three and a half years so far this year, but he still had regrets.
“I had high expectations for Hanwha, but since my performance was not good, I only feel sorry for the fans who supported me,” Noh said. “If I have another chance to play for another team, I want to show you how I can run and play baseball. I am still confident in that area. I will be exercising individually while waiting for your call.”
He will turn 34 next year, but he still has enough use in that his flagship is still alive. Starting next year, the KBO League will also introduce a “pitch clock” like the Major League, and pitchers’ checks will be limited to two times per bat. If he fails to catch a runner at the third check, he is expected to gain the upper hand as he will be treated as a balk.
In this regard, it is worth looking forward to Noh’s extension of his active duty. The desperation of Noh, who not only has fast feet but also sincerity that everyone recognizes, can have a positive impact on the team. I wonder if Noh, who left his hometown team Hanwha again, will be given a new opportunity.