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The first player born in 2000 to hit 30 home runs was Noh Si-hwan (23, Hanwha). Even including those born in 1990, there are only two major leaguers, Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego) and Noh Si-hwan, who have hit more than 30 home runs. 

Noh Si-hwan hit his 30th home run of the season in the game against LG in Jamsil on the 2nd. In the 6th inning, he hit LG relief pitcher Yoo Young-chan’s second pitch, a fastball to the inside, and went over the left-center wall. After hitting his 29th home run against Daejeon KT on the 19th of last month, he broke nine numbers in 8 games on the 14th and reached the 30th home run milestone.

The only players to hit 30 home runs under the age of 23 were Jang Jong-hoon of Binggrae in 1991 (age 23 at the time), Ki-tae Kim of Ssangbangwool in 1993 (age 23 at the time), Jae-hong Park of Hyundai in 1996 (age 23 at the time), and Seung-yeop Lee of Samsung in 1997-1999 (age 21 at the time). 23 years old), and Noh Si-hwan is the 6th, following Kim Tae-gyun (21 years old at the time) in 2003. 

Noh Si-hwan, who made his first 30 home run season in the fifth year since his debut in 2019, said after the game, “It feels good to do it for the first time. I think 30 home runs is the meaning and symbol of a slugger. “I want to become a hitter who can consistently hit 30 home runs in the future,” he said. 

Noh Si-hwan, who became the first player born in the 2000s to hit 30 home runs, has solidified first place in this category by widening the gap over second place Choi Jeong (SSG, 24) to six. Although the two-week gap due to selection to the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team is a variable, he is likely to become the third youngest home run king in KBO League history, following Samsung Lee Seung-yeop in 1997 (then 21 years old) and Binggrae Jang Jong-hoon in 1990 (then 22 years old). 

Noh Si-hwan’s 30 home runs can be said to be a blessing and a blessing for the entire league in that it is the explosion of potential of the young slugger that Korean baseball has longed for. Korean baseball’s leading sluggers, such as Jang Jong-hoon, Lee Seung-yeop, Lee Dae-ho, and Park Byeong-ho, have won the home run title more than once and became the home run king at a young age in their early or mid-20s, and Noh Si-hwan is also starting to follow in the footsteps of the legends. 먹튀검증

Korean baseball has suffered from a drought of hitting balls for a long time. Among foreign players born in the 1990s, Ha-seong Kim is the only batter to hit 30 home runs. Kim Ha-seong, born in 1995, hit 30 home runs at the age of 25 as a member of Kiwoom in 2020. Kang Baek-ho (KT), born in 1999, hit 29 home runs in 2018, Yang Seok-hwan (Doosan), born in 1991, hit 28 home runs in 2021, and Kim Dong-yeop (Samsung), born in 1990, hit 27 home runs in 2018, but did not exceed 30 home runs. 

In other words, the slugger’s drought in Korean baseball has been severe for a long time, with only two batters, Kim Ha-seong and Noh Si-hwan, having hit more than 30 home runs since 1990. Among the batters born in the 1990s, there are 11 batters born in the 1990s who have hit more than 20 home runs in even one season, including Kim Ha-seong, Kim Dong-yeop, Chae Eun-seong, Oh Ji-hwan, Ahn Chi-hong, Park Dong-won, and Park Geon-woo born in 1990, Yang Seok-hwan born in 1991, Koo Ja-wook born in 1993, Lee Jeong-hoo born in 1998, and Kang Baek-ho born in 1999. It’s just that. The batter in his 20s who has hit the second most home runs this season after Noh Si-hwan is Lee Jae-hyun, born in 2003, but he still has only 10. That’s how overwhelming Noh Si-hwan’s presence is. 

Following the international trend among amateurs, the number of sluggers has decreased noticeably since wooden bats were used instead of aluminum bats in 2004. As wooden bats with low repulsion force focused on contact rather than long hits, sophisticated and quick hitters became dominant, and as a result, right-handed pitching and left-handed hitting increased rapidly. As the years passed, the pool of promising sluggers dried up. A few promising sluggers also failed to blossom in the pros. Because we were so caught up in the immediate results, we couldn’t afford to wait patiently for the growth of the big guns on the field. 

However, Noh Si-hwan has steadily walked the path of a slugger since his amateur days. He said, “I was big from a young age, and I never had a chance to change to a left-handed hitter.” The leaders nurtured Noh Si-hwan to take advantage of his strengths, and he continued to receive opportunities even after becoming a pro. Hanwha, which has been rebuilding for several years, fixed Noh Si-hwan as the central hitter without adding or removing him. Noh Si-hwan, who grew to 12 home runs in his second year and 18 home runs in his third year, slowed down to 6 home runs last year, but quickly surpassed 30 home runs this year, standing tall as the best slugger in the league. 

They say the crown jewel of baseball is the home run, but the absence of a slugger is detrimental to the success of the league. In such a situation, Noh Si-hwan became the first player born in the 2000s to surpass 30 home runs, quenching the long thirst of Korean baseball. This could be an opportunity to present a new paradigm to the KBO League.

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