Following the legends, 22-year-old home run king Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), who made another history this season
responded to the Japanese national team coach’s high praise that he was ‘top class in Japan’. Noh Si-hwan’s ambition was to completely dominate the KBO League stage first.
The ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Awards Ceremony’, which selects and highlights the players who performed best in the 2023 KBO regular season, was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul at 2 p.m. on the 27th.
Noh Si-hwan, the home run and RBI leader who performed brilliantly this season 지울프-토토
also stood tall on the podium. Noh Si-hwan played in 131 games this year, posting a batting average of 0.298 (153 hits in 514 at-bats), 31 home runs, and 101 RBIs
winning two awards in the home run and RBI categories, which are the symbols of a slugger.
At the same time, 22-year-old Noh Si-hwan dominated the home run and RBI titles.
In the KBO League, the batters who won the home run title before the age of 23 are Doosan Bears coach Seung-yeop Lee
who holds the record for being the youngest home run king ever (1997) at age 21, and Jong-hoon Jang
who won the title in 1990 at age 22, a talent donation to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). Following the committee member
Noh Si-hwan is the third in history. In addition, Noh Si-hwan once again left his mark in history as the second-youngest hitter in KBO League history to achieve 30 home runs and 100 RBIs at the age of 21 in 1997, following manager Lee Seung-yeop, who hit 32 home runs and 114 RBIs at the age of 21.
Noh Si-hwan, whom we met after the awards ceremony, said, “I think it is a really good and meaningful event because it is an opportunity to receive applause and receive awards.” He added, “I was able to take the title and receive congratulations from many people, so the first awards ceremony was very meaningful.” . “I was also honored that his family and relatives came to see him, and I think it would be a great day for the people around him,” he said with a bright smile.
Additionally, Noh Si-hwan showed off his fashion sense by attending the awards ceremony wearing a cool, casual, yet young tuxedo. In this way, Noh Si-hwan proudly stood tall as the best hitter in the KBO league in front of his family and won two trophies.
At the same time, this year, Noh Si-hwan has established himself as the national team’s fourth hitter by hitting hard at the Hangzhou Asian Games and the Asian Professional Baseball Championship.
It also became a hot topic in Japan. Coach Hirokazu Ibata, who led the APBC Japan national team, said, “Noh Si-hwan showed a sharp hitting ability. “I think he is top class even compared to Japanese hitters,” he said, giving a favorable review of Korea’s young fourth hitter. In addition, the Japanese media later evaluated Noh Si-hwan as a hitter who could hit more than 40 home runs in Japanese professional baseball.
In addition, the Japanese media showed a lot of interest in Noh Si-hwan throughout the competition. There were also articles that mentioned the possibility of Noh Si-hwan advancing to Japan.
In addition, former Hanwha coach Carlos Subero, who stepped down midway through this year’s season, actively encouraged Noh Si-hwan to go to the United States, saying, ‘Don’t give up the possibility of advancing to the major leagues.’
Regarding the possibility of advancing overseas, Noh Si-hwan said, “The coach of the Japanese national team gave me a good evaluation in Japan, but I would like to think about going overseas after I become the best in Korea.” He added, “To be honest, I still have no idea about going overseas. I have no thoughts. He said, “I will think about it later after I become the clear best in the KBO league.”
Literally. Noh Si-hwan, who won two awards in the batting category this season, received 6 votes, equivalent to second place in the MVP voting, but was disappointed by failing to receive the award.
Noh Si-hwan, a 5-year professional, created a new history as a hitter in his 20s by becoming the home run king (31 home runs) and RBI king (101 RBI) despite being selected for the Asian Games, but he could not surpass Peddy, who won the pitcher triple crown.
Like Noh Si-hwan’s story, there are still more mountains to compete in and overcome in the KBO League. A representative example is Choi Jeong (SSG), who ranked first in slugging percentage and threatened Noh Si-hwan until the end in the home run race.
This season, Choi Jeong-Eun recorded a batting average of 0.297/29 home runs/87 RBI in 128 games, hit 31 doubles, and ranked first in the league with a slugging percentage of 0.548. And at the awards ceremony that day, the thoughts expressed through video became a hot topic.
Choi Jeong-eun said, “Personally, Noh Si-hwan could have won three gold medals, but he got injured unintentionally at the last minute, so I was able to maintain first place in slugging percentage. I feel sorry for Noh Si-hwan, and I will work hard to be able to attend the awards ceremony with more honorable results next year.” He expressed his thoughts.
Choi Jeong left at the end of the season due to injury, and Noh Si-hwan’s slugging percentage fell during that time, which led to his winning the title, expressing his regret for preventing his junior from achieving a great record.