If you have a 20-win pitcher and a 23-year-old home run king, which one should you value more?
There is no question in baseball that NC Dinos’ foreign-born pitcher Eric Pedi, 30, is the best pitcher in the KBO this year. His pitches, mechanics, and delivery are all “out of the KBO”. He overwhelms KBO hitters with a different kind of ball.
On the 5th, he pitched against the Kiwoom Heroes at Changwon NC Park. In his 24th appearance, Pedi held the Heroes to two hits and no runs until the seventh inning. He threw all of his pitches – two-seam, cutter, and sweeper – to near perfection. He walked one and struck out a career-high 11 batters.
He threw 62 of his 93 pitches for strikes (66.7%), at times using his hard stuff and at other times hitting batters over the edge of the strike zone.
He struggled against the KIA Tigers on August 31, giving up seven runs in three innings, but it was a temporary setback. Five days later, he returned to the mound and proved to be an incomparable pitcher.
He went 17-6 with a 2.28 ERA and a 7-3 record. He’s back in first place in ERA, three wins shy of first place in wins, and one win shy of first place in strikeouts. Added 11 against the Heroes on May 5 to jump to 160. He’s now three behind Ahn Woo-jin, who is out for the season with an injury. Barring an unforeseen turn of events, she will lead the league in strikeouts.
Pedi’s strongest competition is Hanwha Eagles’ Noh Si-hwan (23). He hit his 30th home run on the 2nd against the LG Twins. He reached the highly symbolic 30-homer mark in his fifth year as a professional. He is leading SSG Landers’ “veteran” Choi Jung (36) by five points. He is the young home run hitter in his 20s that the Korean professional baseball has been waiting for.
Noh is also the leader in RBIs. He has 90. He’s nine behind second place.
If you were to pick an MVP at this point, it’s not an easy choice.
But there’s a big variable. The Hangzhou Asian Games. Noh Si-hwan, who was selected as the national player, will be away from the team for more than two weeks from the end of September. In the meantime, Choi Jung could swoop in and shake up the standings.안전놀이터
Pedi’s momentum is scary. He could make at least six or seven appearances in the team’s remaining 33 games. He takes the mound twice this week, first against the Heroes on the 5th and then against the Lotte Giants on the 10th.
If he wins 20 or more games and leads the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts with a dominant record, the center of gravity will be on him.
“Pedi has played a big role in the development of pitchers in the KBO, and he’s having a special season,” Kang said.
The last foreign pitchers to win the MVP award were Ariel Miranda in 2021 and Josh Lindblom in 2019. Both were with the Doosan Bears. Miranda earned top honors with a 14-5 record and a 2.33 ERA, while Lindblom posted a 20-3 record and a 2.50 ERA. Miranda led the league in ERA and strikeouts (225 in a single season), while Lindblom led the league in wins and strikeouts.