The Greatest Foreign Pitchers in South Korea’s KBO
After yesterday’s post on the hitters, here is a list of the pitching record holders.
Danny Rios 90-59
Dustin Nippert 58-32
Andy VanHekken 58-32
Danny Rios 807
Andy VanHekken 640
Dustin Nippert 614
Jose Cabrera 53
As you can see, it’s a pretty skimpy list. Decided it wasn’t worth figuring out the lowest ERA, because Danny Rios is the only pitcher with even 800 innings pitched in the league.
Rios had a seven-year KBO career, and he won the KBO’s MVP award in 2007 when he went 22-5. He tried his luck in Japan’s NPB in 2008, and it was probably a mistake.
Andy VanHekken reportedly just signed a contract with NPB’s Seibu Lions, so his KBO career numbers are locked, at least for 2016. Dustin Nippert had injuries in 2015, but his post-season performance was terrific, setting a KBO record for consecutive shut-out innings pitched in the post-season, so he’s likely to be in the KBO next season to add to his career totals. After Rios, Nippert is the only other foreign pitcher to have lasted five full KBO seasons.
The next pitcher most likely to make the above lists is Eric Hacker. He went 19-5 last season, leading the KBO in wins and winning percentage, and finished second in ERA at 3.13. He needs about two more KBO seasons to make the lists, and the odds are good he’ll get them based on the strength of his 2015 campaign.
The best season by a foreign reliever was Scott Proctor‘s 2012, when he had a 1.79 ERA and saved 35 games. However, he returned to the U.S. in 2013 to play at AAA. The KBO has yet to have a foreign closer last more than a couple of seasons.