Noh Si-hwan, the next big thing…Veteran Son As-seop, the first batting champion of his career [KBO League Wrap-Up]

Noh Si-hwan, the next big thing…Veteran Son As-seop, the first batting champion of his career [KBO League Wrap-Up]

Noh, who hit 31 home runs and 101 RBIs, led the league in home runs and RBIs.안전놀이터
The KBO’s thirst for “young big guns” will be satisfied with the development of Noh Si-hwan (22-Hanwha Eagles) in the 2023 season.

Drafted by Hanwha with the third overall pick in the second round of the 2019 KBO First-Year Player Draft, Noh was considered a big-time prospect from the start.

He hit 18 home runs in 2021, his third year in the league, but it wasn’t a number that fulfilled the expectations for him. To make matters worse, his home run total dropped to six last year.

This year, he swung the bat even harder, breaking his single-season home run record and becoming the KBO’s home run king with 31 arches.

What makes Noh’s performance this season even more significant is his age. He is the first player in KBO history born in the 2000s to lead the league in home runs.

He is also the third player in history to lead the league in home runs at the age of 23 or younger, after Lee Seung-yeop of the 1997 Doosan Bears (21) and Jang Jong-hoon of the 1990 KBO Talent Donation Committee (22).

The KBO, which has always been worried about the lack of a next-generation slugger, has been relieved by Noh’s home run output.

Noh’s unstoppable cannon helped him reach triple digits in RBIs for the first time in his career, leading the league in that category with 101.

Last year, he wasn’t even in the batting title hunt, but this year he won two titles, signaling a new era in the KBO.

Noh’s last shot at the top spot was taken by veteran hitter Choi Jung (SSG Landers). Choi, who finished second in home runs with 29 balls over the fence, maintained his lead with a .548 on-base percentage. Noh Si-hwan is second with a .541 on-base percentage.

[SEOUL, South Korea] Choi Jin-seok reports on the 2023 KBO Baseball League match between the NC Dinos and the Doosan Bears at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Songpa-gu, Seoul on April 19. NC Dinos’ Son Ah-seob-ah celebrates after advancing to first base after hitting a single in the first inning. 2023.09.19.

Veteran Son As-seop (NC Dinos) won his first career batting title (batting average, 0.339) and topped the career hits list (187) for the fourth time in his career.

Since turning pro in 2007, Son has twice finished second in the batting order.

In 2013, when he was with Lotte, he hit .345 but lost the title to Lee Byung-gyu (then with the LG Twins), who hit .348, and in 2020, he hit .352 but lost out to Choi Hyung-woo (KIA Tigers), who hit .354.

This year, he battled with Koo Jae-woo (Samsung Lions – 0.336) down to the wire to claim the top spot.

She also got lucky in the RBI competition. While Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom Heroes – 186 hits) was away at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, Son diligently accumulated hits to claim the title by one.

Hong Chang-ki, who led the LG Twins to a first-place finish in the regular season, won titles in runs scored (109) and on-base percentage (.444).

Jung Soo-bin (Doosan Bears) stole 39 bases to win the stolen base title for the first time since turning pro in 2009. Typically, a 75% stolen base success rate is required to be recognized, but Jeong had an 83% success rate.

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