“The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with Eric Pedroia,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on June 6 (KST).
Peddy, a former “top prospect” who was selected by the Washington Nationals with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, made his first big league appearance in 2017. He went 1-1 with a 9.39 ERA in three games in his rookie year, went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 11 games the following year, and went 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 21 games (12 starts) in 2019, improving slightly each year.토토사이트
It wasn’t until 2020 that Pedi began to work his way into the starting rotation, going 7-9 with a 5.47 ERA in 29 games (27 starts) in 2021, his first “full-time” start, and 6-13 with a 5.81 ERA in 27 games last year. However, after the season, Peddy was “released” by the Nats, and the NC Dinos didn’t miss a beat.
NC attempted to reach out to Peddy shortly after news broke that he had been released by Washington. NC invested $1 million (approximately $1.3 billion), the maximum amount that can be invested in a new foreign player, and Peddy was hooked. NC had high hopes for Pedi, as he had been a full-time starter for two seasons in the Major Leagues, but Pedi was “on another level.
In his first month in the KBO, April, Peddie pitched in six games, going 4-1 with a 0.47 ERA. He then went on a nine-game winning streak in May and June, sweeping all of his starts. Pedi’s worst month was August, when he posted a 4.50 ERA. Peddie then recaptured his early-season form, going 4-0 with a 0.80 ERA in seven games in September and October to lead NC to the postseason.
Pedi did not take the mound early in the postseason after being hit hard in the forearm by a pitch in his last appearance of the regular season. However, he returned in Game 1 of the playoffs against the KT Wiz and pitched a dominant six innings, striking out a whopping 12 batters in a spectacular finale. Pedi went 20-6 with a 2.00 ERA in 30 regular-season games, becoming the first foreigner to win 20 games and strike out 200 batters and the fourth pitcher in KBO history to win the Triple Crown, as well as the MVP title.
Of course, there are differences in league levels, but Pedi’s noticeable improvement with the ‘sweeper’ during his entry into the KBO led to interest from overseas clubs throughout the regular season. The Yomiuri Giants and SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball sent scouts, and Major League Baseball teams also took notice, with the Orix Buffaloes actively pursuing him after the season ended.
NC didn’t stand still either. NC offered Pedi a “multi-year contract” to stay. But Pedi’s final destination was a return to the major leagues. MLB.com’s Mark Pinesand hinted at a return to the big leagues with a two-year, $10 million-plus deal, with the New York Mets and Chicago White Sox battling it out, with Peddie returning to the majors in a White Sox uniform.
Son, who won the “Most Hits” and “Hitter of the Year” titles this season, celebrated Pedi’s return but couldn’t hide his disappointment. After being named the ‘Best Player’ at the ‘2023 Korean Professional Baseball Retired Players’ Day’ held at Hotel Rivera in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul on July 7, Son was asked about Pedi in an interview with the press after the ceremony.
“It’s a great memory for me that I was able to be a teammate on the same team with such a great player. And I think it’s something to celebrate because it’s an opportunity to make the name of NC Dinos more known in the United States. Of course, as a team, it’s disappointing and a big blow. But it was an honor to play with him,” he said, giving a thumbs-up.
While he couldn’t have been more fortunate to play on the same team as the best player in baseball, he wondered if he had any regrets about not being able to face Pedi, who is returning to the major leagues after just one season. “I tried to hit him when we played the Blue-White Game in the U.S. spring training, but I didn’t get to experience it properly, so I’m wondering, ‘How good is he?'” Son said, “But I think I had a little more advantage in hitting because I didn’t face him, so I think it’s always good to have a good pitcher on our team as much as possible,” he said with a witty response.
Son had the best season of his career, winning the batting title in his 17th season. It took him a long time to win the title, but there’s no denying that he’s one of the best hitters in the KBO. Despite this, Son is still looking to improve. This year, his off-season goal is to improve his long ball. He will be traveling to the United States to train with former Pittsburgh Pirates Kang Jung-ho.
“The most important thing is to maintain my strengths. As long as I keep that, I don’t think about the number of home runs. It’s not something I can hit just because I want to,” he said, adding, “I’m going to discuss this with my brother (Kang) Jung-ho when I get to the United States. This year, due to various circumstances, I will head to the United States in mid-January, a little later than last year.”