Three Pitchers Vying for Top KBO Pitcher

Three pitchers have been named as vying for the Choi Dong-an award, which is equivalent to the Cy Young award in major league baseball. Yang Hyeon-jong (Kia Tigers), Kim Kwang-hyun (SK Wyverns) and Josh Lindblom (Doosan Bears). Yang won the award in 2014 and 2017 while Lindblom won the award last year when foreigners first became eligible to be nominated. Kim has yet to win the award.

Lindblom has to be the favorite with his 20 wins against just three losses. His 2.50 ERA is second in the league and the Bears finished as the top team in the KBO. Kim was looking at the major leagues a couple years ago, but major league interest in him was slim. He was just coming back from two injury prone seasons, but the last couple years he has been pitching well. He finished 17-6 with his 2.51 ERA third in the league. Yang is the only pitcher still not in the playoffs, but his 2.29 ERA was the best in the KBO. He was 16-8 and his Tigers fell short of making the playoffs.

Korean pitchers must meet a set of criteria in order to be considered for the Choi Dong-an award. They must start at least 30 games, pitch 180 innings, have 12 wins, 150 strikeouts, 15 quality starts, a sub-3.00 ERA and have 35 saves. The three pitchers all met at least 5 of the seven criteria.

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