There are both strong candidates for “MVP + Rookie of the Year”…Hanwha, which is moving away from the semifinals, is in a position to worry about falling in last place again

There are potential MVP and Rookie of the Year candidates in Hanwha. Noh Si-hwan 꽁머니지급 (23) and Moon Dong-ju (20) are raising expectations for the MVP and Rookie of the Year awards together for the 7th time in KBO League history. 

Noh Si-hwan, who played his first 3 homers in his debut against KT on the 9th, played in all 94 games this season, batting average of 307 li (114 hits in 371 bats), 26 homers, 71 RBIs, on-base percentage of .393, slugging percentage of .569, OPS of .962. . He ranks first in home runs, RBIs, and slugging percentage in three categories with official titles. In OPS, he tied for first place with Choi Jeong (SSG). 

It is a variable that he will be selected for the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team next month and will have to miss at least two weeks, but if he earns as much as possible with the current momentum, he is likely to lead in home runs and RBIs. So far, in the KBO League, the probability of winning the MVP for the hitter with the first place in home runs and RBIs has reached 60.7% (17/28). On the pitcher side, it is a two-game match with strong MVP candidate Eric Peddy (NC). 

Moon Dong-ju is also active as a leader in the Rookie of the Year race. Moon Dong-ju, who is maintaining his qualification as a rookie in the second year because he did not exceed 30 innings last year (28⅔ innings), recorded 6 wins, 7 losses, an average ERA of 3.39 and 83 strikeouts in 19 games (98⅓ innings) this year. 

It is regrettable that he has more losses than wins as his bullpen failed to keep a win three times, but he is posting the best performance among rookie pitchers in every aspect except wins. Moon Dong-ju also has an inning limit variable along with the Asian Games. Yoon Young-chul (KIA), a pure rookie with 7 victories, is also in a formidable spirit, but Moon Dong-ju has the upper hand in pitching quality and topicality. 

If both players receive the MVP and Rookie of the Year awards, the same team will produce the same award for the 7th time in KBO League history. Previously, Haitai in 1985 (Sung-Han Kim-Soon-Cheol Lee), Samsung in 1993 (Sung-Rae Kim-Jun-Hyuk Yang), Hanwha in 2006 (Hyeon-Jin Ryu-Hyeon-Jin Ryu), Doosan (Daniel Rios-Tae-Hun Lim) in 2007, Nexen (Byeong-Ho Park-Geon-Chang Seo) in 2012, KT (Mel Rojas Junior-So Hyeong-jun) has swept both the MVP and Rookie of the Year titles. 

However, despite the performances of Noh Si-hwan and Moon Dong-ju, Hanwha is struggling in the second half. In the second half of 16 games, 4 wins, 11 losses and 1 draw (.267), it is only 9th. At the end of the first half, they were 8th, 2.5 games behind 5th place Lotte, with hopes for the postseason, but now the gap with 5th place Doosan has widened to 8 games. Rather, the gap with Kiwoom in 10th place has narrowed to two games, so we have to worry about falling to the last place. They are on a downward trend with 1 win, 8 losses and 1 draw in their last 10 matches. 

In the second half of the season, the team ranked 9th in ERA (5.63) and 10th in batting average (.227), and both pitching performances dropped significantly. Even foreign pitchers who pitched well in the sluggish 4th and 5th starters show ups and downs, and only Moon Dong-ju (3G ERA 2.93) maintains a sense of stability. The bullpen, which has lost power, is also unable to overcome the hurdle. In the other lineup, Roh Si-hwan hit 7 homers, but there is no hitter with a batting average of 30% other than Kim Tae-yeon (.310). There is no clear power increase factor for the rest of the period, so it is difficult to revive hopes for the top 5. 

Most of the teams that produced MVP and Rookie of the Year earlier had good results. Samsung in 1993, Hanwha in 2006, and Doosan in 2007 won the Korean Series runner-up, and KT in 2020 also climbed to second place in the regular league. In 1985, Haitai did not play fall baseball because Samsung won the combined championship in the first and second seasons, but was ranked 3rd in overall winning percentage (.523). In 2012, 6th place Kiwoom was the only team to fail in fall baseball with a win rate of less than 50% (.469). At this rate, Hanwha might become the team that produced MVP and Rookie of the Year with the lowest ranking. By the 10th, the odds of Hanwha, who ranked 8th, were 40,207. 

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