“Don’t try to do too much” is Rojas’ simple resolution
Jose Rojas (30-Dusan Bears)’s bat has finally come alive.
Rojas is batting .225 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs through 10 days. His batting average is still low, but the pessimism that surrounded him not too long ago has been erased. Back on June 28, he was hitting just .192. There was constant talk of him being released, and it looked like Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop’s wait was slowly coming to an end.
Since then, Rojas is batting .429 (12-for-28) in nine games. It’s hard to call it a fluke, and it’s not the result of luck. The quality of his at-bats has improved significantly. His 10 walks are the only double-digit total in the league. His contact rate was 90% and he struck out only 5.3% of the time.
His batted ball velocity averaged 136.8 km/h (per Sport2eye) during this period, which is not much different than his average prior to June 28 (138.3 km/h). However, his batting angle has dropped to 14.8 degrees, down from an average of 32 degrees. It’s a productive adjustment to what used to be a meaningless floater in the sprawling Jamsil Stadium in Seoul.
The change in pitches is not a technical adjustment. Instead, it’s a dramatic improvement in his delivery, as evidenced by his strikeout numbers. Lee’s initiative has been a source of frustration for manager Lee Seung-yeop since the beginning of the season. He even sent him to the Futures (second division) team to adjust it, but it didn’t work. He wanted him to stabilize his mentality rather than adjust his batting form, but it wasn’t easy.
As more time passed, Rojas began to change, just as Lee intended. “Mentally, I’ve become very relaxed (recently). I think it’s working well that my focus is more mental than technical.”
A big part of this is due to the fact that he has a dedicated coach in Lee Young-soo, the Future Team hitting coach. The coach, who was with Rojas when he was down in the Future Team, came up to the first team to help him when he couldn’t regain his form after returning to the first team. The effort paid off. “He talks a lot about mental stuff,” Rojas said. He says things like, ‘Don’t try to do too much,’ and ‘You can do it.’ It’s simple stuff, but it’s helped me a lot,” he explained. “I was trying to hit all the balls,” he reflects. It hasn’t been easy to overcome, but he’s getting there.스포츠토토
With Rojas’ awakening, Doosan will finish the first half with three foreigners at the peak of their powers. With ace Raul Alcantara, who has been consistent all season, and Brandon Waddell, who has a 0.90 ERA in three games, the starting rotation is very stable. Since Brandon’s arrival on June 24, Doosan’s starting pitching staff has a 1.99 ERA (2nd place Hanwha Eagles 3.00).
Since Rojas’ awakening on June 29, the team has scored 47 runs in nine games. That’s second only to the KIA Tigers (52 points), who are also benefiting from the return of an injured player.
All that remains is to maintain the pace in the second half. Rojas is neither optimistic nor pessimistic, saying, “This is baseball. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Rojas laughed. But thanks to Rojas, Lee ended the first half with a smile on his face.