Ahn Woo-jin (24-KIUM) is out for the season, which is a huge factor in the KBO MVP race. With Eric Pedroia (30-NC) closing in on the pitcher’s triple crown, Noh Si-hwan (23-Hanhwa), who leads the league in home runs and RBIs, has fallen off the radar.
Ahn Woo-jin’s last start of the season was against SSG in Munhak on May 31. Gina is out for the season after deciding to undergo elbow ligament reconstruction surgery on July 2. With a 9-7 record with a 2.39 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 24 games (150⅔ innings) this season, Ahn was ranked first in strikeouts and second in ERA through the end of August.
However, an abrupt decision to undergo Tommy John surgery ended Ahn’s season, and Pedi seemed to bounce back. Pedi continued his dominance in September, winning two games in a row, allowing one run in 15⅓ innings with 20 strikeouts. He finished the season with an 18-6 record in 25 games (150⅔ innings) with a 2.21 ERA and 169 strikeouts.
Pedi is now within striking distance of the pitcher’s triple crown, as he leads the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. He has four more wins than second-place Wes Benjamin (KT-14), but his ERA isn’t far behind Raul Alcantara (Doosan-2.29) and Ahn Woo-jin (2.39), so he’ll have to wait until the end of the season to find out.
In the strikeout category, Ahn has a clear lead over Alcantara (164), who is five strikeouts shy of second place. If Ahn had finished the season on track, Pedi would not have been able to top the strikeout leaderboard. Before the season ended, Ahn was 15 strikeouts ahead of the second-place finisher, Pedi, and would have won the title for the second year in a row.
The Triple Crown, which requires winning titles in wins, ERA, and strikeouts, is a feat only three pitchers have ever accomplished. Sun Dong-yeol was the first to accomplish the feat in 1986 when he was with the Haetae, and then did it four times, including three consecutive years from 1989-1991. He was followed by Hanwha’s Ryu Hyun-jin in 2006 and Kia’s Yoon Seok-min in 2011.
Seon won MVP honors in all three of his Triple Crown seasons except 1991. In 1991, he lost the MVP award to Binggrae Jang Jong-hoon, who led the league in home runs, RBIs, runs scored, and total bases. Ryu Hyun-jin and Yoon Seok-min also won MVP honors that year, beating out home run leaders Lee Dae-ho and Choi Hyung-woo. The Pitcher’s Triple Crown is like a “guaranteed MVP check.
If Pedi finishes with the most wins, ERA, and strikeouts, he’ll be close to winning the MVP. Noh Si-hwan, who was also at the top of the MVP race, is not in the clear. After Peddie struggled against the Gwangju KIA on March 31, giving up seven runs in three innings, the weight of the race shifted in Noh’s favor, but that changed when Peddie won two straight games in September.안전놀이터
In 118 games this season, Noh is batting 30-for-44 (142-for-467) with 30 homers, 96 RBIs, a .393 on-base percentage, a .563 slugging percentage and a .956 OPS. He was the first player in the league to reach 30 home runs and leads the league in all three official titles. He is on pace to become the fourth player in history to hit 30 homers and 100 RBIs under the age of 23. Previously, Jang Jong-hoon of Binggrae in 1991, Park Jae-hong of Hyundai in 1996, and Lee Seung-yeop of Samsung in 1997-1999. Noh’s strength is that he is the young slugger the KBO has been looking for.
The biggest variable for Noh is the Hangzhou Asian Games. He will be out of the national team for 23 days. With the current schedule, he will miss 13 games. In the meantime, he risks being overtaken in home runs and RBIs. He is five points behind Choi Jung (SSG-25) for second place in home runs and 13 points behind Austin Dean (LG-83) for second place in RBIs, but there’s no telling what will happen in those 13 games while he’s away. He’ll need to make the most of his remaining nine games before he rejoins the national team. With Pedi closing in on the pitching trifecta, the fire has been lit at Noh’s feet.