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Teen slugger voted top rookie in S. Korean baseball

All Headlines 14:32 November 19, 2018

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) -- Teen phenom Kang Baek-ho was voted the top rookie in South Korean professional baseball for 2018 on Monday.

The 19-year-old outfielder for the KT Wiz won the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Rookie of the Year award in a landslide on Monday. Kang earned 514 voting points out of a maximum 555 points in a media vote. Nexen Heroes' infielder Kim Hye-seong was a distant second with 161 points.

A first-place vote was five points, and a second-place vote was good for three points. A third-place vote was worth one point.

In this file photo from April 3, 2018, Kang Baek-ho of the KT Wiz (R) runs toward first base after hitting a grounder against the Nexen Heroes during the top of the third inning in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The first overall pick in last year's draft led all freshmen with 29 home runs -- one shy of an all-time rookie record -- and 84 RBIs, while putting up a robust .290/.356/.524 line. He also scored 108 runs, one of 10 players to surpass the century mark in that department.

Kang famously homered in his very first at-bat on Opening Day on March 24. It was also the first home run by anyone in the league in the 2018 season.

Kang was a two-way star in high school but decided to focus on hitting as a pro.

In this file photo from April 26, 2018, Kang Baek-ho of the KT Wiz watches his base hit against the Lotte Giants in the bottom of the seventh inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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