Park Chan-ho showed that he is a serious contender for the award in front of the ‘absolute jizo’ Oh Ji-hwan.
Since 2010, the Golden Glove for shortstop in the KBO has been Ki Um Pan. Kang Jeong-ho won the inaugural award in 2010, followed by three consecutive years from 2012 to 2014, just before he entered the major leagues.
After Kang’s departure, Kim Jae-ho (Doosan) won in 2015 and 2016, and Kim Sun-bin (KIA) won in 2017. However, Kang’s successor on the team, Kim Ha-seong (San Diego), dominated the field again. After winning three consecutive Golden Gloves at shortstop from 2018 to 2020, Kim left for the major leagues. In 2021, his successor, Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom), won the award.
Last year, it was Oh Ji-hwan (33‧LG) who broke the mold. Long considered one of the best shortstops in the league, but who had been on the wrong side of the Golden Glove ballot several times, Oh was overwhelmingly voted in, signaling his prime. In last year’s Golden Glove voting for shortstop, Oh took home 246 of the 313 total votes cast.
온라인카지노It wouldn’t be surprising if he received more votes. In 142 games last year, Oh put up stellar offensive numbers, batting .269 with 25 home runs, 87 RBIs, 20 doubles, and an OPS of .827. His run production was nearly 40% better than the league average. There was also the iconic 20-20 title. Plus, his defense was already considered one of the best in the league. As a player in his prime, he was expected to have a long Golden Glove run.
This year, Oh hasn’t done too badly either. In 102 games, he’s batting .273 with an OPS of .771. That’s down from last year, but you have to keep in mind that he’s a shortstop. Plus, his defense is arguably the best. The brand is solid. However, this year’s award is not a sure thing. Last year’s sole competitor, Park Sung-ho (SSG), is catching up, but there is a strong contender in Park Chan-ho (28‧KIA).
Park has been recognized for his defense and baserunning. He is considered one of the most energetic shortstops in the league. However, his offensive production has been below league average. This is because he doesn’t have a lot of long balls and his batting average isn’t that high. However, this year, he has been able to erase his weaknesses in the offense and is now in a position to compete with Oh.
Park Chan-ho has taken a step toward becoming a complete shortstop by improving his offensive production this year ⓒKyun Hye-mi Reporter
Oh Ji-hwan, who still has plenty of skills in the field, will need to keep challengers at bay ⓒKyung Hye-mi Kim
In 114 games this season, Park is batting .304 with three home runs, 48 RBIs, 29 doubles, and a 0.745 OPS. His run production is also above league average. He’s even gotten ahead of the curve in cumulative stats because Oh has been out with an injury. The defense has also been steady, except for a brief lull in the middle of the season.
In terms of Wins Above Replacement (WAR), the two are neck and neck. As of Nov. 11, Park Chan-ho has a WAR of 3.54, slightly ahead of Oh Ji-hwan (3.33), according to Statiz. He also maintains a steady lead over third-place Park Sung-hwan (2.75). Sports2eye’s WAR aggregator also shows the same 1-3 order with Park Chan-ho at 3.35, Oh Ji-hwan at 3.24, and Park Sung-ho at 2.87. Park Sung-hwan is at an absolute disadvantage in terms of cumulative performance as he has to go to the Asian Games. In the end, it’s a battle between Park Chan-ho and Oh Ji-hwan.
If both athletes finish the season without any major injuries, it will be a close race at the current pace. It will most likely come down to who can push themselves harder in the remaining days. Both players performed well side by side in a four-game series in Gwangju from August 8-10 (including a doubleheader on the 9th). Park Chan-ho must have realized that the mountain of Oh Ji-hwan is still high. On the flip side, he must have realized that Oh was also a “contender” for the award for the second year in a row, and that there was a “stumbling block.
In four games, Oh batted .400 (6-for-15) with five RBIs, and he looked the part of a champion. His four-game OPS was 0.975. Park Chan-ho was no slouch either. He batted .375 (16-for-6) with two stolen bases in the four games. In Game 1 of the doubleheader on Sept. 9, he hit the game-winning hit against Ko Woo-seok to lead his team to victory. As the Golden Glove field is beginning to take shape, the battle between the two players will continue to be fierce until the end of the season, captivating fans’ attention.
Park Chan-ho is challenging for the Golden Glove at shortstop ⓒKyung Hye-mi Reporter