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Eric Peddy (30) pitched in 27 games as the fifth starter for the Washington Nationals in the U.S. Major League Baseball last year, showing a poor performance with 6 wins, 13 losses and a 5.81 ERA. Pedi, who debuted in the big league in 2017 and recorded 21 wins, 33 losses and a 5.41 ERA for six years, crossed the Pacific last winter and stepped on unfamiliar Korean soil amid the judgment that it would no longer be guaranteed a starting pitcher position in the Major League. This choice has become simply a ‘God’s move’.

Pedi dominated the KBO league with a two-seam fastball shooting 155km/h and a modified slider called “Swiper” that flicks outward based on right-handed hitters. Pedi, who started 30 games and pitched 180.1 innings, won 20-6 with a 2.00 ERA and 209 strikeouts, achieving the “Triple Crown” as a pitcher who swept the top spot in multiple wins, ERA and strikeouts. It is a record that only native pitchers such as Sun Dong-yeol (1986, 1989, 1990, 1991), Ryu Hyun-jin (2006), and Yoon Seok-min (2011), and Pedi is the first foreign pitcher to achieve. In addition, the 20 wins and 200 strikeouts were the first milestone in 37 years since Sun Dong-yeol in 1986.

Pedi, who was recognized for his performance, won the honor of the MVP of the regular league at the 2023 KBO League Awards held at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 27th. As a result of the reporters’ vote, Pedi won 102 votes out of a total of 111 votes, beating Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), who had only six votes with an overwhelming 91.9%. Since the introduction of the foreign player system in 1998, Pedi has been named the eighth foreign player MVP. He is the second MVP in NC after Eric Thames in 2015. On this day, Pedi was selected as the winner not only in the MVP but also in the individual record award of three gold medals and the new KBO defense award pitcher category this year, sweeping five trophies on this day alone.

“I’m incredibly happy,” Peddy said after winning the MVP award, adding, “I couldn’t have won this award without my teammates. We are brothers until the end. I am also grateful to the coaching staff, including head coach Kang In-kwon,” he said.

Pedi led NC to victory in the first playoff against KT with 12 strikeouts and one run in six innings, but since then, he could not take the mound in the fourth and fifth games, sparking controversy over his performance. Pedi, who left the ground in tears after Game 5 of the playoffs, said, “I was in tears because I couldn’t help the team at the time. “My teammates were like brothers to me, so I felt more emotional,” he said, recalling the time. Pedi continued, “Finally, I want to give this honor to the citizens of Changwon.” Changwon is now my second home,” he added.

Pedi is making his return to the Major League with his performance this year. This is because Merrill Kelly (former SK), Thames, and Chris Flexen (former Doosan), who were reborn as second starters for the Arizona Diamondbacks, wrote a “KBO League reverse export success myth.”

The Rookie of the Year award was won by Moon Dong-ju (20, Hanwha), who drew attention by throwing a fastball of 160.1 km per hour in April and surpassing the official speed of 160 km for the first time in the KBO league history. As a result of the reporters’ vote, he won 85 votes out of 111 votes, beating his competitors such as Yoon Young-chul (KIA, 15 votes), and winning the Rookie of the Year award, which was once in his life, with 76.6 percent of the votes. Moon Dong-ju, who wore a Hanwha uniform as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 Rookie Draft, pitched only 28.2 innings last year and maintained his eligibility for this year’s Rookie of the Year award. With fastballs added to his better control this season, he pitched 118.2 innings in 23 games, recording 8 wins, 8 losses and an ERA of 3.72, emerging as a hope for the Hanwha mound. It is the first time in 17 years that a Hanwha player has won the Rookie of the Year award since Ryu Hyun-jin in 2006.

Moon Dong-ju said, “When I got the trophy, it was quite heavy. I will be a player who can bear the weight of this trophy. “I will give the fans the honor of the Rookie of the Year award for the first time in 17 years since Ryu Hyun-jin,” he said. “I will throw hard so that Hanwha can go higher next year.”

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