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Pitcher wants to improve on MVP season in S. Korean baseball

All Headlines 14:58 March 22, 2018

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- Kia Tigers' left-hander Yang Hyeon-jong isn't one to rest on his laurels, even with South Korean baseball's MVP award from last season in his bag.

The 30-year-old left-hander was voted the MVP of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) in 2017, thanks to a 20-6 record and a 3.44 ERA. He tied his teammate Hector Noesi for the league lead in wins and ranked fifth in ERA. He was second in innings pitched (193 1/3) and third in strikeouts (158).

Yang also helped his Tigers win their first Korean Series title in eight years, with a complete game shutout win in Game 2 and a save in the clinching Game 5 over the Doosan Bears. He was named the MVP of the Korean Series as well.

Ahead of the KBO's annual media day in Seoul on Thursday, Yang said he would like nothing more than another 20-win season.

"If I win a lot of games, that means our club will win a whole bunch of games as well," Yang said. "So I'd love to win 20 games once again."

Yang also pointed to his walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP) as a category he'd like to improve upon. In 2017, Yang ranked 10th with a 1.31 WHIP.

"I think I still have a lot of room for improvement," he said. "I think WHIP is especially important to pitchers, and I want to lower that mark this year."

In this file photo provided by the Kia Tigers baseball club on Jan. 18, 2018, pitcher Yang Hyeon-jong speaks to reporters after the team fitness test at Gwangju World Cup Stadium in Gwangju. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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