First foreign pitcher to win Triple Crown
17 wins, 2.28 ERA, leader in wins and earned run average
Ahn Woo-jin’s departure also reserves the strikeout kingdom
ML comeback rumors… Japanese clubs also eyeing him
This season, when NC players hit a home run, they do a ‘photo ceremony’ in the dugout. The photographer is Pedi (30), a foreign pitcher who wore an NC uniform this year. He uses an instant camera to take a picture of the player who hit the home run and then pastes the picture on a photo board. Pedi, who paid for the equipment himself, also carries the camera and board with him to visiting games. “His energy helps a lot with team chemistry,” says an NC official.
On the mound, Pedi’s contribution to the team is even greater. Considered the best pitcher in the Korean Baseball Organization this season, Pedi is on pace to become the first foreign pitcher to win the Triple Crown (most wins, highest ERA, and highest strikeouts), helping the team fight for the top spot in the standings.
Pedi started Changwon’s home opener against Kiwoom on May 5 and pitched seven innings of two-hit, one-strikeout ball to lead the team to a 2-1 victory. With his 17th win (6-0), Pedi remained the team’s all-time wins leader. She also lowered her ERA to 2.28, moving into first place in the category, and struck out 11 batters to move within four strikeouts of the category leader, Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom-164). With Ahn out for the season with an elbow injury, Pedi has effectively reserved the top spot in strikeouts.
Only three South Korean professional baseball pitchers have won the Triple Crown. Sun Dong-yeol accomplished the feat four times (1986, 1989, 1990, 1991), while Ryu Hyun-jin (2006) and Yoon Seok-min (2011) did it once each.
A first-round pick of the Nats in the 2014 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft, Peddy was the Nats’ fifth starter until last year. But after going 6-13 with a 5.81 ERA last season, he was given a non-tender offer. His performance wasn’t great, but there were also question marks about his durability, including his shoulder and wrist. That’s where NC stepped in. Within minutes of the Washington club’s no-extension announcement, they made their intentions known.
After deciding to move to Korea, Pedi left his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he enlisted the help of the Pitching Academy. There, he strengthened his shoulders and wrists through systematic training and refined his pitching mechanics. He added a sweeper (a modified slider with a lot of lateral curve) to his two-seam fastball and cut fastball. He also strengthened his changeup, which was not very effective.
NC manager Kang In-hwa said, “All four of Pedi’s pitches are decisive pitches. His fighting spirit on the mound is also the best among foreign players.” His best season in the MLB was 133 and a third innings (2021), and this year he has already pitched 142 and a third innings.
Now, whenever Pedi pitches, there are always three to five scouts from MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball in attendance. “I don’t think there’s ever been a case where so many clubs were interested in a player at the same time,” said one person familiar with the player transfer market. The Washington Post also showed interest, publishing an interview with Pedi on April 4. It is unusual for a major American newspaper to feature a player in the Korean Baseball Organization at the height of the season.먹튀검증
Pedi isn’t thinking about the Stovrig yet. “I’m just focusing on getting the team to the playoffs. I’m not going to get cocky and keep doing what I’ve been doing until the end of the season.”