KBO League batting champion Son Asub (NC Dinos) said goodbye to ace Eric Pedroia, who left for Major League Baseball (MLB). He expressed his disappointment but wished his teammate well as he pursues new challenges on a bigger stage.굿모닝토토 주소
Son had his best season in his 17th year as a professional this year. In 140 games, he batted .339 with five home runs, 65 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases, outperforming a stellar lineup. This is the first time he has won the batting title since his debut with the Lotte Giants in 2007.
He also won the RBI title with 187 hits, beating Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom Heroes) by one with 186. She was recognized as the most outstanding hitter of the year alongside “Home Run King” Noh Shi-hwan (Hanwha Eagles).
“I hope to perform well next year and be invited to as many awards ceremonies as I did this year,” said Son, who received the best player award at the Han Eun-ho Awards on July 7, with a bright smile on his face.
Thanks to Son’s performance, NC finished the regular season in fourth place and advanced to the postseason. Although they were narrowly eliminated in the playoffs with a reverse sweep by the KT Wiz, the team had previously shown great promise, winning nine straight games in fall baseball.
However, it remains to be seen if NC will maintain the same power next year. That’s because they lost a key player who was a big part of their power. That’s Pedi.
Pedi started 30 games this year, posting an impressive 20-6 record with a 2.00 ERA. He ranked first in wins, ERA, and strikeouts (209), making him the fourth pitcher in history to achieve the Triple Crown, and the first in 37 years since Hae-tae Sun-dong-yeol in 1986 and the fifth in history to record 20 wins and 200 strikeouts at the same time.
At the KBO awards ceremony held on March 27, Pedi was named Most Valuable Player (MVP). He received 102 out of a total of 111 votes, representing 91.9% of the vote. This is the highest percentage of votes among the eight foreign MVPs in history. He also took home five trophies, including three pitching awards and a defense award.
NC offered as much as they could realistically afford to keep Peddy, but they couldn’t win the money game with America. Pedi returned to the MLB, signing a two-year, $15 million contract with the Chicago White Sox.
“It’s unfortunate (Pedi’s departure), and it’s a blow to the team,” said Son Asup, who watched Pedi’s incredible performance for a season as a teammate and captain.
“It’s something to celebrate,” he said. “It’s a good memory and an honor for me to play on the same team with such a great player, and I think it’s good that he’s going to the MLB and bringing NC to the United States.
When asked if he had any regrets about not facing Pedi as an opponent, Son said, “I tried to hit him in the blue and white game in spring training, but I didn’t really stick with him, so I was curious.” He laughed and said, “I think I had a little more advantage in becoming the batting champion because I didn’t face Pedi. I think it’s always good to have a good pitcher on our team.”