The MVP race is over. With NC Eric Peddy reaching 20 wins and 200 strikeouts on Tuesday, the best player of the 2023 season has been crowned. So is the Rookie of the Year. Hanwha New Aces’ Moon Dong-ju will bring the Rookie of the Year trophy to Daejeon for the first time in 17 years. As the regular season draws to a close, the players who will stand on the podium at the end of the year are also being determined.
Arguably the greatest pitcher of the 21st century. This is the second coming of Seon Dong-yeol from 1986, a year that seemed like it would never happen again. He won the Triple Crown with 24 wins, 214 strikeouts, and a 0.99 ERA. He also won the MVP and Pitcher’s Golden Glove.
So is Pedi. As of the last 12 days, he has 20 wins, 204 strikeouts, and a 2.06 ERA, effectively clinching the Triple Crown. Not only is he unrivaled in wins, strikeouts, and ERA, but when it comes to MVP and Pitcher’s Glove, there’s no one better than him. An active big leaguer who was a regular in the Major League Baseball (MLB) rotation until last year has conquered the Korean stage.
Rookie of the Year is also a distinct category. No one is more dominant than Moon Dong-ju, whose season ended prematurely. In 23 games and 118.2 innings pitched this year, Moon went 8-8 with a 3.72 ERA. His Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 2.54 leads the competition in WAR. Moon is on pace to take over the Rookie of the Year dynasty for Hanwha, which hasn’t had a Rookie of the Year since Ryu Hyun-jin in 2006.
The Golden Glove winner doesn’t have many positions to contend with either. In the infield, catcher Doo Yang-ji, first baseman LG Austin Dean, second baseman Ki Uhm, and third baseman Roh Si-hwan are a lock. While Yang leaves something to be desired in terms of defensive innings, he is a Golden Glove candidate and has no peer when it comes to hitting. Austin, Hye-Sung Kim, and Shi-Hwan Roh are at the top of the 스포츠토토 list in both hitting metrics and defensive innings.
The only other infield position in contention is shortstop. A few weeks ago, it looked like LG’s Oh Ji-hwan and KIA’s Park Chan-ho were going to battle it out to the end. However, on April 4, Park ended his season prematurely with a hard-hit ball. Oh is on pace to finish the season and has the edge in the metrics. In WAR, Oh is at 4.21 and Park is at 4.17. In OPS, Oh is at 0.775 and Park is at 0.734. Despite hitting fewer home runs than last year and a drop in overall stats, Oh is still capable of winning his second straight Golden Glove.
LG’s Hong Chang-ki (6.14 WAR) and Samsung’s Koo Ja-uk (5.09 WAR) are the clear favorites for the outfield Golden Glove. NC’s Son Ah-seop (4.39 WAR) could also win the Designated Hitter Golden Glove if he wins the batting title. NC Park Gun-woo, SSG Guillermo Heredia, and KIA Socrates Brito are expected to compete for the remaining outfield Golden Glove.