Of the 30 foreign players playing in the 2023 KBO, the best is undoubtedly NC right-hander Eric Peddie, 30. Peddie made five starts for the Washington Nationals in the Major Leagues last year, losing more games than he won (6-13) and posting a sub-5 ERA (5.81). Across the Pacific, however, Peddie is entering the realm of the best foreign pitchers of all time in South Korea.
In his last start against the Incheon SSG on Aug. 8, Pedi threw a seven-inning no-hitter to improve to 15-3 on the season. In just 19 games, Pedi tied the all-time record of 15 wins in fewest games held by Kim Il-young (Samsung) in 1985. While Kim had 10 wins as a starter and five in relief, Pedi’s 15 wins were purely in relief. He also lowered his ERA from 2.10 to 1.97 to get back into the single digits. He leads the league in wins and ERA.
The focus now turns to whether Pedi can become the first KBO pitcher in the 21st century to reach 20 wins and a sub-1 ERA. The 20-win mark was last achieved by Raul Alcantara (Doosan – 20 wins) in 2020, and the 1.82 ERA was last achieved by Ryu Hyun-jin (Hanwha – 1.82) in 2010.
In modern baseball, the five-man rotation and the division of labor between the starting rotation and the bullpen have made it difficult to achieve both 20 wins and a sub-1 ERA. You have to go all the way back to the 1900s and 20th century to find a player who did both.
The first was Park Chul-soon (OB), who went 24-4 with a 1.84 ERA in 1982, the first year of the Korean Baseball Organization. The late “Iron Arm” Choi Dong-won (then Lotte), who won four games by himself in the 1984 Korean Series, was second with a 20-9 record, eight saves and a 1.92 ERA in 1985. “National treasure” Sun Dong-yeol (then of Haetae) did it three times, in 1986 (24-6, 6 saves, 0.99), 1989 (21-3, 8 saves, 1.17) and 1990 (22-6, 4 saves, 1.13). The most recent was 20-2, 6 saves, 1.88 in 1997 by Hyun-Wook Kim (then with the Twins).
Pedi’s arsenal consists of a two-seam fastball that averages 149 miles per hour and a sweeper that maximizes the lateral movement of the slider that has become so popular in the major leagues in recent years. He has the stuff to keep his ERA in the low single digits. He needs help from his offense to win, and he’s lucky to have 5.16 runs per game.안전놀이터
NC has 51 games left in eight days, so Peddy is likely to make around 10 starts. If he can add five more wins and maintain a one-run ERA in the remainder of the schedule, he’ll emerge as one of the strongest regular season MVP candidates.