[Professional Baseball Settlement ②] Young-gun performances such as Moon Dong-ju, Kwak Bin, and Park Young-hyun also stand out, with
Seo Jin-yong showing off his 40 SV and Yang Eui-ji showing off his ‘good health’… ‘Batting King’ Son A-seop also rebounds
Eric Peddy (NC) on the mound, Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha) at bat, and Hong Chang-ki and Austin Dean who led LG to the championship. Who was the brightest star in this season’s professional baseball regular season?
The 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League regular season ended with the game on the 17th. It was an eye-catching season, with LG winning for the first time in 29 years and a fierce battle for rankings taking place until the last day.
As a team, LG ranked highest, but if you narrow it down to individual players, the story is different. NC’s ‘Super Ace’ Pedi, who finished 4th in the regular season, stands out the most.
Peddie pitched 180⅓ innings in 30 games this season and performed well with 20 wins, 6 losses, an ERA of 2.00, and 209 strikeouts. He achieved the ‘triple crown’ by sweeping the three major categories for pitchers, including multiple wins, earned run average, and strikeouts.
In particular, Peddie became the 5th player to simultaneously achieve 20 wins and 200 strikeouts in a single season. It was a great record that came 37 years after the 1986 sedition fever.
In his last appearance, he attempted to achieve an ERA of 1 point, but one out was lacking, so he ended the season with 2.00.
NC, which embraces Pedi, saw the ‘ace effect’ by performing better than last season (6th place) even after losing starting catcher Yang Eui-ji (Doosan) as a free agent before the season.
Among the batters, Noh Si-hwan shined by far. Noh Si-hwan, in his third year as a professional, dominated the home run-RBI category title this season with a batting average of 0.298, 31 home runs, and 101 RBI.
He was an ‘unfinished standby’ until last year, but this season he broke out of the egg and established himself as a slugger representing the league. His value is even higher in that he is the first right-handed hitter to emerge after a long time since Park Byung-ho (KT).
Hanwha had to be satisfied with 9th place this season and avoiding last place for 4 consecutive years, but it was a very great achievement to develop Noh Si-hwan, who will be responsible for the next 10 years.
Hong Chang-gi, the key player in LG’s victory, cannot be left out. Hong Chang-ki, who is not quick on his feet but has the league’s best batting eye and the ability to produce doubles, played a full role as the leadoff player for leading LG.
Hong Chang-gi, who achieved top-ranking results in major categories such as batting average of 0.332 (4th), 109 runs (1st), 174 hits (3rd), 35 doubles (3rd), and on-base percentage of 0.444 (1st), led LG to the championship this season. He was an indispensable hitter.
At LG, there was also Austin, a ‘lucky foreigner’. He led the batting lineup along with Hong Chang-gi this season with a batting average of 0.313, 23 home runs (3rd place), 95 RBI (3rd place), and a slugging percentage of 0.517 (3rd place). LG, which had suffered from poor performance or injuries to foreign hitters every year, smiled broadly at Austin’s performance.
Peddie, Noh Si-hwan, Hong Chang-ki, and Austin are also considered candidates for the regular league Most Valuable Player (MVP). While Peddy, who has an overwhelming record, has the upper hand, Noh Si-hwan forms a ‘two-strong structure’, and Hong Chang-ki and Austin appear to be chasing as latecomers.
On the other hand, Kiwoom’s Lee Jeong-hoo and Ahn Woo-jin,안전놀이터 who had a ‘family fight’ for last year’s MVP, ended their seasons early due to injuries. Lee Jung-hoo will advance overseas next year, and Ahn Woo-jin will undergo long rehabilitation and resolve military service issues, so we won’t be able to see them in action for the time being.
In addition to the ‘MVP candidates’, there were many others who stood out during the regular season. In particular, the performance of ‘Young Gun’ young pitchers stood out.
Moon Dong-ju (8 wins, 8 losses, ERA 3.72), who became a promising pitcher representing the league beyond Hanwha in just his second season of debut, Kwak Bin (12 wins, 7 losses, ERA 2.90), who established himself as Doosan’s ‘native first starter’, and KT’s ‘ Park Young-hyun (3 wins, 3 losses, 4 saves, 32 holds, ERA 2.75), who led the ‘impregnable bullpen’ and won the hold king, and Choi Ji-min (6 wins, 3 losses, 3 saves, 12 holds, ERA 2.12), who became the hope of KIA’s left-handed bullpen, all stood out. .
They also have something in common: they were selected side by side to the baseball team for the Hangzhou Asian Games held in September. These ‘Young Guns’, who won a gold medal and solved the military service issue, will face a solid future ahead.
Among young hitters, KIA Kim Do-young, Lotte Yoon Dong-hee, and NC Kim Joo-won stood out, raising expectations for their performance after next year.
In addition, Seo Jin-yong, who was reborn as SSG’s guardian, had his best year by recording a personal high of 42 saves, and Yang Eui-ji, who returned to Doosan for a total of 15.2 billion won, the highest ever before the season, got his money’s worth with .300 – 17 home runs and 68 RBIs. He led the team’s return to fall baseball.
Son Ah-seop, who raised concerns about an ‘aging curve’ last season, showed off his ‘class’ by winning two awards, including batting (0.342) and most hits (187 hits).