‘Choose the best pitcher ace in the league.’
A month of the KBO League, which announced the opening on April 1, has passed in an instant. While the whole country is excited with the fever of baseball that has returned, it is of utmost interest to whom the honor of the Monthly Most Valuable Player (MVP), which heated up the first month of the league, will go to.
On the 3rd, the KBO released a list of 11 MVP candidates for April, consisting of 5 pitchers and 6 fielders. Eric Peddie (NC), Na Kyun-an (Lotte), and An Woo-jin (Kiwoom), three aces from each team who competed for the best pitcher position in the league, are mentioned as potential candidates for the award.
The performance of Ace Pedi, an NC foreigner who is trusted and watched, is overwhelming. He pitched in 6 games and took 4 wins (1 loss). He pitched 38 innings, averaging over 6 innings. The earned run average is only 2 points, and the earned run average (ERA) is a whopping 0.47. 1st in most wins, 2nd in innings, and ERA is unrivaled. There were 4 quality starts (QS, 6 innings or more, 3 earned or less), and 3 of them were quality start plus (QS+, 7 innings or more, 3 earned or less).
Pedi’s position was clearly a burdensome position. This is because it is the first starting position that Drew Luchinski, who played 4 seasons in NC, recorded 53 wins (36 losses), 657 strikeouts and an average ERA of 3.06. Luchinski was a KBO representative who reported double-digit wins for three consecutive seasons from the second year. However, Peddie is in the process of overturning the old saying, ‘Old is good,’ by disregarding it.
◆Baseball version Jekyll and Hyde… ‘Jongdeok and Gyunan’
Na Kyun-an, who wore a Lotte uniform in the 3rd place in the 2nd round of the 2nd round in 2017, was a catcher at the time of joining. Appearing on the stage of the first team, he actually kept the Lotte home plate. However, he failed to stand out, and eventually chose to become a pitcher in the Futures League in the 2020 season. In July of that year, he tried to change his name from his previous name, Na Jong-deok, to his current name, Na Gyun-an.
That change was a godsend. This April, he proved with his performance that the choice was right. He played 5 games and tied for first place with Peddy with 4 wins and losses. He also posted a 1.34 ERA based on his sharp breaking ball control along with his excellent fastball. The best achievement in Lotte’s 9 consecutive wins in 15 years and 1st place in 11 years (based on 10 games) was, of course, ‘Ace’ Na Kyun-an.
◆As for the original native ace, Na Kyun-an, ‘It’s me,’
has emerged as an emerging powerhouse, but the place of the league’s ‘right-handed native ace’ has a strong sense of Ahn Woo-jin. Last season, he recorded a career high with 15 wins, 196 innings, and 224 strikeouts. In particular, his strikeout record was the most by a Korean pitcher, surpassing Choi Dong-won (223). The pitcher’s Golden Glove was, of course, his share.안전놀이터
This year, too, he is on a rampage. Out of his 6 appearances, he showed off his sense of stability to the point of achieving QS 5 times (1st place). He also showed the appearance of a “strikeout machine” with 49 strikeouts in 37 innings. His earned run average was also 0.97, ranking third overall. However, he does not receive much help from the other line, and the only regret is that he only won 2 wins (1 loss).
Who will be the winner of the fierce battle? The April MVP award winner is selected through a fan vote and a vote by the reporters of the Korea Baseball Journalist Association. After summing up the results, KBO plans to reveal the main character who will receive the final honor on the 9th.