Player in focus: Jacob Fox (Hanwha Eagles)Hanwha Eagles’ Jacob Fox last week became the third foreigner in KBO history to play as a catcher. But it happened unexpectedly.
In a game against the Samsung Lions on Wednesday, the Eagles’ manager Kim Sung-keun brought veteran catcher Cho In-sung and starting pitcher Ahn Young-myung back to the bench after the team allowed six consecutive hits against the Lions in the first inning.
Jung Bum-mo then played catcher, but as he also got replaced by pinch-hitter Jung Hyun-suk in the fifth inning, many wondered who would play catcher because in the Eagles’ roster, only Cho and Jung were listed as catchers.
But there was Fox. The 33-year-old American was originally playing as a right fielder, but wore the mask from the sixth and contributed to his team’s 10-9 victory in the 11th inning. Fox not only helped his team in defense, but he went 4-for-6 including a solo shot in the seventh to lead the offense.
In Wednesday’s game, Fox became the third foreign catcher in KBO history after Angel Pena for the Eagles in 2004 and Vinny Rottino for the Nexen Heroes last year.
Boosted by his performance, the Eagles let Fox start as a catcher on Friday against the NC Dinos as well as on Saturday against the Doosan Bears. Eagles manager Kim hinted that fans will likely see Fox playing more as a catcher.
In Major League Baseball, where he played for the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles, Fox played catcher for 32 games. In the minors, he wore the mask in 323 games.
But Fox is known for his wide coverage in positions, playing from first baseman to outfielder. He joined the Eagles in May as a replacement for Nygel Morgan.
BY JOO KYUNG-DON [email@example.com]