This season, Lotte Giants pitcher Na Gyun-ahn (25) has been one of the best in the league.

His performance so far has been nothing short of spectacular. As of March 3, he has pitched in 11 games with a 5-1 record and a 2.55 ERA. This is a significant improvement over his performance in 2020, when he went 4-10 with a 4.66 ERA in 62 games on the mound for the first team last year.

Na is tied for fifth in wins, strikeouts (60), and innings pitched (67). Among Korean pitchers, he is tied for the most wins with Lim Chan-gyu (LG Twins), and second in strikeouts and innings pitched with Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom Heroes). Fifth overall in ERA. His batting average (0.224) and walks allowed per inning (1.06) are also good.

He struggled against the KIA Tigers on March 3 (5 runs in 4 innings) and the Doosan Bears on March 11 (4 runs in 5 innings), but has regained his form with quality starts (6 innings, 3 earned runs or less) in each of his last four outings.

Na Kyun-ahn is a big part of Lotte’s upswing. When all of their starters, foreign and domestic, were struggling early in the season, Na stepped up. Lotte overcame their early April struggles and are now in contention for the division lead. According to Sports2eye, Na ranks fourth overall with a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.39.

Another stat that shows that he is a top-tier pitcher is his strikeouts. In 67 total innings pitched, he has given up just one home run. Of the 22 pitchers with 50 or more innings pitched, he has the fewest, along with Jung-hyun Paik and David Buchanan (Samsung Lions). The most home runs allowed is by KT Wiz Wes Benjamin (10).

Na’s BABIP is also very low at 0.286. It’s third behind Ahn Woo-jin (0.267) and Kirk McCarty (SSG Landers, 0.267).

With that kind of power, it’s rare for him to go down in flames. Na gave up four runs in the bottom of the third inning against the KIA on April 3, his only loss of the season. It was the only big inning he has allowed this year. The home run came in the bottom of the fourth inning on a 113-kilometer-per-hour curveball from Lee Woo-sung that cleared the left field fence and landed in the outfield bullpen. He gave up three runs in the second inning of the third game against the KIA, but held them scoreless until the sixth inning, setting the stage for a 6-5 comeback win. Na had only one other two-run inning, and the rest were single runs. His lack of long balls, coupled with his excellent command of his pitches, allowed him to continue his steady and powerful pitching.메이저놀이터

Former national team coach Kim In-sung said, “He throws a lot of pitches that are low in the strike zone. It’s not easy for hitters to get a long hit even if they hit it well.” “His deciding pitch, the forkball, has good power. The fact that he brings the ball forward as much as possible and throws it is also a reason for its power.”

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