KBO Update

One of the newest franchises, the NC Dinos have gotten off to a good start in the KBO. But the powerful Kiwoom Heroes are close behind. The surprise KBO team is the Lotte Giants, who finished in the basement last year but are one of the hottest teams to start the season. And don’t forget the defending champion Doosan Bears, who are part of the three way tie for second. The games are still being played without fans, unlike Taiwan, who has gone from fanless, to 1,000 fans per game and tomorrow will allow 2,000 fans.

NC Dinos (8-1)

Last year he was considered one of the better players in the league last year, but catcher Yang Eui-Ji (.312, 0, 7) has gotten off to a pedestrian start. The batting average is decent but the power is absent. Last year they missed Na Sung-Bum (.257, 3, 6) for all but the beginning of the season so they are glad to have him now. The two Parks around the infield, Min-Woo (.410,0,7) at second base and Suk-Min (.320, 3, 5) at third are providing plenty of offense. Aaron Altherr (.200, 1, 2) has yet to put it in gear.

Normally the top pitchers are foreign pitchers, but 23 year old Koo Chang-Mo (2-0, 000) is changing that narrative. He has not given up a run in two starts covering 14 innings while striking out 18. The lefthander is not overpowering, but he does have good breaking stuff. Many have pegged him as a major league possibility in the near future. Ex-Oriole Mike Wright (1-0, 2.45) has pitched well in two starts.

Doosan Bears (6-3)

Jose Miguel Fernandez (.526, 2, 9) is leading the KBO in hitting. Last year, in his rookie season Jose hit .344. Outfielder Kim Jae-Hwan (.361, 4, 14) has been the most productive bat, leading the team in RBIs. Oh Jae-il (.425, 3, 5) has the highest average among Korean bats. Veteran Kim Jae-Ho (.371, 0, 4) may be losing some range at short, but he is making up for a down season last year.

The top pitcher on the Bears staff early in the season is 22 year old Lee Young-Ha (1-0, 2.38). Last year he had a break out season with a 17-4 record. Chris Flexen (2-0, 3.75) is undefeated as he tries to replace MVP Josh Lindblom, who left the Bears for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2020. Pitching has been an issue early in the season for the Bears.

Kiwoom Heroes (6-3)

Next year you may see Kim Ha-Seong (.143, 1, 2) in a major league uniform. The 24 year old shortstop was the replacement for Kang Jung-Ho, who left for the Pirates a coupe years ago. He could be pressing knowing this is his walk year. Their big power hitter Park Byong-Ho (.212, 2, 6) is also dragging. The only bat really hitting is young 21 year old super star Lee Jung-Hoo (.355, 2, 8) . Lee normally does not hit for power, but he did go back to back early in two games this season.

Their top pitcher is also a young Korean pitcher, 21 year old Choi Won-Tae (0-1, 2.92). Foreigner Eric Jokisch (1-0, 0.82) has only given up one earned run in two starts. Jo Sang-Woo leads the KBO in saves with four. He has only appeared in four games and has yet to give up a run.

Lotte Giants (6-3)

They got off to a hot start with five straight wins to start the season. Ex Major leaguers Lee Dae-Ho (.424, 1, 6) and Dixon Machado (.281, 3, 13). Dixon was not known for his power in the Tigers minor league system but he is slugging .625 early in the KBO season. So far the trio in the outfield has been exceptional. Jung Hoon (.367, 1, 7), Min Byung-Hun (.368, 2, 2) and Son Ah-Seop (.429, 1, 8) are hitting far above their career averages, so when they level out the Giants may settle nearer the second division.

Dan Straily (1-1, 2.12) may be their most consistent starter. His 19 whiffs lead the KBO. Watch for 19 year old Seo Jun-Won (1-0, 4.09) who did not give up an earned run in six innings in his first start. Last year in his rookie season he was 4-11.

LG Twins (5-3)

Roberto Ramos (.419, 3, 6) has been providing big time power for the Twins at first base. Ex-major leaguer Kim Hyun-soo (.455, 1, 9) is having a torrid start. Last year in his second year back with the KBO he slumped in an offensively down year. Fellow outfielder Lee Chun-Woong (.387, 0, 1) is also contributing but more so in the runs scored department where he has crossed the plate 10 times. He also has three stolen bases.

Foreign pitchers Casey Kelly (22.50 ERA) and Tyler Wilson (0-1, 7.84) have been struggling. The Twins have had to turn to Lim Chan-Gyu (1-0, 1.50) and Cha Woon-Chan (2-0, 3.75) to get victories.

Kia Tigers (4-6)

Preston Tucker (.417, 3, 12) is the only offensive player contributing. No other player has more than 4 RBIs.

Aaron Brooks (0-0, 1.42) has only given up one run in each of his two starts, but the offense has not hit for him to get the victories.

Samsung Lions (4-6)

In his first 11 KBO seasons Kim Sang-Su (.344, 0, 2) has never hit above .300. The second baseman is off to a good start this year. Tyler Saladino (.174, 1, 2) needs to hit to stay in the KBO. His defense at shortstop is secondary. Outfielder Kim Dong-Yeop (.310, 2, 8) leads the team in RBIs.

Choi Chae-Heung (2-0, 3.27) has half of his team victories, despite walking seven in 11 innings. David Buchanan (1-1, 3.46) pitched seven shutout innings in his second start to get his first win.

Hanwha Eagles (4-6)

Song Kwang-Min (.265, 2, 4) is the only player on the team with more than a single homer. The power in the bat of Jared Hoying (.242, 1, 5) has been quiet. Sharotstop Ha Ju-Suk (.361, 0, 6) leads the team in RBIs.

Jang Min-Jae (1-0, 3.00) picked up a victory in his last start. The best pitcher has been 24 year old Kim Min-Woo (0-0, 2.38) who has only given up four hits in 11.1 innings, striking out 13. Warwick Saupold (1-0, 1.20) pitched a complete game shutout in his opening day start.

KT Wiz (2-7)

They may not be winning a lot of games, but they probably have the best young player in the KBO in 20 year old outfielder Kang Baek-Ho (.289, 3, 7). Mel Rojas Jr (.462, 2, 4) is second in the KBO in hitting. Bae Jeong-Dae (.345-0,2) is also hitting which leaves no room for Jo Yong-Ho (.636, 0, 3) who has seven hits in his 11 at bats. Catcher Jang Sung-Woo (.323, 2, 12) leads the team in RBIs.

The 23 year old Bae Je-Seong (0-0, 1.28) has had two quality starts but no wins to show for them. So Hyeong-Jun (2-0, 3.18) has picked up the only two victories for the Wiz in his two starts. Odrisamer Despaigne (0-0, 3.27) has pitched well in his first year in the KBO.

SK Wyverns (1-8)

This is a young, rebuilding team playing on the cheap. Han Dong-Min (.300, 4, 10) leads the KBO in homeruns, but it has not led to any wins. No one else on the team has more than three RBIs.

Ricardo Pinto (1-1, 3.18) has picked up the only Wyvern victory.

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