The shortstop position, which was the biggest battleground for this year’s Golden Gloves, is expected to face even more heated competition next year.
Not only are the current ‘number one’ shortstop Oh Ji-hwan (LG Twins) and Park Chan-ho (KIA Tigers)
who was in hot competition with Oh Ji-hwan, but those following him are also spectacular.
At the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Golden Glove Awards held on the 11th, Oh Ji-hwan took the ‘Golden Glove’ in the shortstop category.
Oh Ji-hwan received 154 votes (52.9%) out of a total of 291 votes, beating Chan-ho Park with 120 votes (41.2%).
The difference in votes between the two was 34 votes
which was the position with the narrowest difference in votes between 1st and 2nd place.
Shortstop, who plays a key role in the team’s defense along with catcher and center fielder, is a very important position.
Having stable defense as the basis and even offensive power is the icing on the cake.
Shortstops with slugging power, such as Kang Jeong-ho and Kim Ha-seong, are recognized as having high value, enough to advance to the major leagues. 카지노사이트
In the KBO League, there have been consistently good shortstops coming out since Kang Jung-ho and Kim Ha-seong.
Accordingly, competition for the shortstop position is expected to become more intense next year.
First of all, the one who is ahead is Oh Ji-hwan. Oh Ji-hwan, who won his first Golden Gloves last year at the age of 32, led the team to victory this year and achieved two consecutive wins.
Their offense and defense balance is excellent
with a solid defense that is considered the best in the league and a batting ability that can hit mid-to-long range guns while using Jamsil Stadium as their home.
Chan-Ho Park, who unfortunately missed out on the Golden Glove this year, is also looking to become the ‘No. 1 shortstop’.
Chan-ho Park had a batting average of 0.301 this year, with 3 home runs, 52 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases.
Although his slugging power is lower than that of Oh Ji-hwan
his batting accuracy is higher, and he is also ahead in stolen bases based on his excellent base running ability.
He is gradually gaining stability in defense, and he is still in his 20s.
There is a possibility that Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom Heroes) will join next year.
Kim Hye-seong won the Golden Glove Award in the second baseman category for two consecutive years last year and this year, and it is expected that she will change her position to shortstop next year.
Kim Hye-seong, who is aiming to advance to the major leagues after the end of next season
has publicly expressed her intention to return to shortstop.
It’s his favorite position, and it’s also a stepping stone for him to be evaluated at a higher value when entering the major leagues.
Kim Hye-seong has already achieved the ‘best’ position at shortstop.
He became Kiwoom’s starting shortstop in 2021 when Ha-seong Kim left for the major leagues and won the Golden Glove.
Although he later moved to second base, Kim Hye-seong considers his main position to be shortstop.
Although the team’s ‘approval’ has not yet been received, if Kim Hye-seong moves to shortstop
there is a high possibility that she will compete in a three-way battle with Oh Ji-hwan and Park Chan-ho.
Additionally, new shortstops whose skills have not yet reached their full potential are also worthy of attention.
A representative example is Kim Joo-won (NC Dinos)
who was selected as a member of the national team for this year’s Asian Games and won a gold medal.
Kim Joo-won played full-time shortstop this season, recording a batting average of 0.233, 10 home runs, 54 RBI, and 15 stolen bases.
Although his batting average was somewhat low, he had all the qualities to challenge for the shortstop title
including a one-shot batting ability, decent stealing ability, and stable defense.
It is also a great asset that he has gained experience in big games by playing for the national team and postseason this year.
Samsung Lions’ rookie Lee Jae-hyun, who will be in his third year next year, and SSG Landers Park Seong-han
who was last year’s ‘winning team shortstop’, are also ready to take on the challenge.
The ‘big three’ of Oh Ji-hwan, Park Chan-ho, and Kim Hye-sung are being challenged by a trio of rookies
including Kim Joo-won, Lee Jae-hyun, and Park Seong-han. Who will be in the spotlight as the ‘best shortstop’ in next year’s KBO League?