“Fireballer” Moon Dong-ju (20-Hanwha Eagles) was named the best rookie in the 2023 Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
He is the first rookie from Hanwha in 17 years since Ryu Hyun-jin (36) in 2006.
Moon received the regular-season rookie of the year trophy at the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Awards Ceremony held at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul on Sunday. The prize money for the rookie of the year is 3 million won.
Ten players selected by the Korea Baseball Writers Association were nominated for Rookie of the Year and voted on by the press corps after the regular season ended.
The ballot box, which was kept sealed by the KBO, was opened on Nov. 27.
Moon Dong-ju received the most votes.
Moon, who joined the team in 2022, pitched just 28⅔ innings for the first team last year, making him eligible for Rookie of the Year honors.
The KBO considers players who have been in the league for five years or less, have accumulated 30 innings pitched and no more than 60 at-bats to be eligible for Rookie of the Year honors.
Moon went 8-8 with a 3.72 ERA in 23 games this year, and made headlines on April 12 when he became the first Korean player in the KBO to throw a pitch in the 160-mile-per-hour range (160.1 km/h).
Yoon Young-chul (19-KIA Tigers), who made his KBO debut this year, also pitched well with an 8-7 record and a 4.04 ERA, but he couldn’t match Moon’s performance.
Moon became the fourth rookie of the year for Hanwha, following Lee Jung-hoon in 1987, Kim Tae-gyun in 2001 and Ryu Hyun-jin in 2006.
On stage, Moon said, “The trophy is very heavy. I will have to bear this weight well,” he said, adding, “I am the first Hanwha player to win the Rookie of the Year in 17 years since Ryu Hyun-jin. I am honored by the fans.” 슬롯