Noh Si-hwan, the Next Big Thing Veteran Son As-Sub, the First Hitter of His Career
Noh, who hit 31 home runs and 101 RBIs, led the league in home runs and RBIs.
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 win the home run title at the age of 23 or younger, after Doosan
Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop (21) in 1997 and KBO talent donor Jang Jong-hoon (22) in 1990.
The lack of a next-generation slugger has been a concern for the KBO, but Noh’s home run output has put that worry to rest.
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 was second with a .541 on-base percentage.
Veteran Son Ah-seop
(NC Dinos) claimed his first career batting title (0.339) and the fourth most hits (187) of his career.
Since turning pro in 2007, Son has twice finished second in batting.
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 Koo Ja-roo (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.
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. 슬롯