KIA has fulfilled its 36-year long wish… Teams that haven’t produced a rookie of the year for 30 or 22 years, no promises for this year either?
- on Sep 05, 2023
1992 and 2000. This is the year in which the Rookie of the Year was last produced. It’s already been over 20 or 30 years.
KIA Tigers pitcher Lee Eui-ri won the 2021 KBO League Rookie of the Year award. The Rookie of the Year Award, also called ‘Rookie of the Year,’ is selected through voting among players who have shown the most outstanding performance among players who meet the prerequisites of being within 5 years of joining the team, being a pitcher within 30 innings, and being a hitter within the required 60 at-bats.
Lee Ui-ri’s Rookie of the Year award was even more special because it was the first feat for a Tigers player in 36 years. It was the first and only time that Lee Sun-cheol was named ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 1985, when he was with the predecessor Haitai Tigers. Since then, not a single person has been produced in over 30 years. ‘Baseball genius’ Lee Jong-beom also failed to win the Rookie of the Year award.
Although KIA has fulfilled its 36-year long wish, there are teams that are just as thirsty for the ‘Rookie King’ as KIA. They are Lotte Giants and SSG Landers. Lotte’s last ‘Rookie King’ was Yeom Jong-seok in 1992. With Lee Ui-ri winning the award, Lotte now holds the title(?) of ‘the team that has not produced a rookie of the year for the longest time.’
The second oldest team is SSG. Including the era of the predecessor SK Wyverns, there is only one ‘Rookie King’ and that is Lee Seung-ho, the ‘Rookie King’ in 2000, the year of its founding. Lee Seung-ho enjoyed the honor of being named ‘Rookie King’ in the team’s founding season, but at the time, SK ranked last among the eight teams with a team winning percentage of 0.338, and only Lee Seung-ho was a point of pride. Since then, the club has not produced an award winner. Gwang-Hyun Kim also failed to win the award that year, being pushed out by Tae-Hoon Lim (Doosan).
Excluding the two teams, the oldest team is the Hanwha Eagles. They produced ‘monster rookie kings’ one after another, such as Kim Tae-gyun in 2001 and Ryu Hyun-jin in 2006, but there has been no news since then. However, Hanwha is the team most likely to produce a ‘Rookie of the Year’ this year, 17 years after Ryu Hyun-jin. It’s because of Moon Dong-ju. Moon Dong-ju is a rookie who joined last year, but he meets the requirements and is a candidate for ‘Rookie of the Year’ again this year. He is likely to be ranked first as he has shown further growth compared to last year with 8 wins, 8 losses, and an average ERA of 3.72 in 23 games.
Moon Dong-ju is the strongest candidate, but the only candidate who can compete against him is KIA Yoon Young-cheol. Young-Cheol Yoon has 8 wins, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 4.13 in 20 games, which lags behind Dong-Ju Moon in an objective performance comparison. However, Moon Dong-ju ended his regular season appearances for management reasons, and there remains room for a turnaround depending on Yoon Young-cheol’s performance in the remaining games. In particular, ‘Rookie 10 wins’ has great meaning.카지노사이트
This year’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ is likely to be a two-way battle between Hanwha and KIA, while Lotte and SSG are not having an easy time this year either. Lotte discovered outstanding rookies this year, such as Kim Min-seok and Yoon Dong-hee, but their performance faltered in the second half of the year, and Lee Ro-woon and Song Young-jin, whom SSG had high hopes for, are one step behind in the competition.
‘Rookie of the Year’ is a battle of pride among clubs. This is because it means that we have the ability to find, refine, and nurture good rookies. When will the long-cherished wishes of the long-standing ‘unreleased’ teams come true?