SEOUL, NC Dinos' Erick Fedde, the first foreign pitcher to win a Triple Crown in South Korean baseball history, headlined a list of MVP candidates unveiled Wednesday.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said Fedde will be one of 16 nominees for the top individual regular season award. The league leaders in major pitching and hitting categories were automatically nominated, along with other players who made their mark this year.
NC Dinos starter Erick Fedde pitches against the Hanwha Eagles during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Changwon NC Park in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, in this file photo taken Oct. 10, 2023
Fedde, pitching in his first KBO season, topped the KBO with 20 wins, 209 strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA. He became the fourth pitcher ever to lead the league in those three categories, and also the fifth pitcher to have 20 wins and 200 strikeouts in the same season.
Fedde was named the winner of the Choi Dong-won Award, the top pitching prize in South Korea, on Monday.
Behind Fedde's strong pitching, the Dinos made the postseason for the first time since their title-winning season in 2020.
Other notable candidates are: Roh Si-hwan of the Hanwha Eagles, the league leader with 31 home runs and 101 RBIs; Fedde's teammate Son Ah-seop, who won the batting title with a .339 average and also led the KBO with 187 hits; and Austin Dean, who ranked inside the top five in hits, home runs, RBIs and slugging percentage for first-place LG Twins.
The KBO also announced Rookie of the Year award candidates Wednesday. Five pitchers and five position players will vie for the top freshman prize. Only those who made their debut in 2023, or players who haven't accumulated over 30 innings or 60 plate appearances between 2018 and 2022 are eligible for this honor.
Roh Si-hwan of the Hanwha Eagles celebrates his double against the NC Dinos during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Changwon NC Park in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, in this file photo taken Oct. 10, 2023
Eagles right-hander Moon Dong-ju, who in April became the first Korean-born pitcher in KBO history to top 160 kilometers per hour with his fastball, is widely regarded as a strong contender. He led all rookie pitchers with 98 strikeouts in 118 2/3 innings and tied for the rookie lead with eight wins.
Kia Tigers left-hander Yoon Young-cheol also notched eight wins and he pitched more innings than any other rookie with 122 2/3 innings.
In this file photo from Sept. 3, 2023, Hanwha Eagles starter Moon Dong-ju pitches against the LG Twins during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul
A vote by 134 members of the Korea Baseball Writers Association, which will take place prior to the start of the postseason on Thursday, will determine the award winners.
The award ceremony will be held in November, following the conclusion of the Korean Series.
Kia Tigers starter Yoon Young-cheol pitches against the Samsung Lions during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in the southwestern city of Gwangju in this file photo taken Oct. 8, 2023
Source: Yonhap News Agency