On May 8, Gocheok Sky Dome hosted the 2023 KBO Baseball League matchup between Kiwoom and LG. The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) announced today that LG’s catcher Park Dong-won was named the league’s MVP for the month of May. Park received 16 out of a total of 29 votes (55.2%) from journalists and 178,638 out of 417,900 fan votes (41.4%) for a total score of 48.27, earning him the honor of being named the MVP for the first time in his career. 메이저놀이터
When asked to comment on Park’s MVP win in May, LG manager Yeom Kyung-rok, who met with Park before the game, gave him short, bold praise: “He was great.” He continued, “(Park) Dong-won’s baseball is improving. His defense at catcher is at a level where I don’t have to worry about it at all, but I was disappointed that his batting potential didn’t explode. He changed his thinking about baseball and trained on the basics, and I think the results were good. I’m training more because I’m getting good results,” he praised.
Park Dong-won, a long-hitting catcher who hit 22 home runs for Kiwoom in 2021, has improved this year. In May alone, he batted .333 (75-for-25) with nine home runs, 25 RBIs, and a .787 OPS, topping the league in both categories. For the season as a whole, he’s batting .302 with 14 home runs, 42 RBIs, and a .994 OPS. He leads the league in home runs, RBIs, and OPS.
Park’s stamina is one of the most important factors in his performance, as he’s on pace to become a home run king. Playing catcher is very demanding, which puts him at a disadvantage compared to other fielders. Coach Yeom said, “(Park) Dong-won is not a weak player. Of course, physical fitness management is important,” he said, adding, “His defense has always been outstanding, so if he finishes this season like this, he can become the KBO’s representative catcher after Yang Ji.”
Yeom didn’t forget about Im Chan-kyu, who finished second in the May MVP voting behind Park Dong-won. After starting the season in the bullpen, Im has been pitching exceptionally well since mid-April. In his four starts in May, he earned all four wins and posted a 1.13 ERA in 24 innings pitched. He led the league in both wins and ERA. These performances earned him a total of 15.32 points in the May MVP voting. “Since Park Dong-won won the monthly MVP, the MVP in my heart is Im Chan-kyu,” Yeom said, causing laughter in the dugout.