Oh Seung-hwan

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Oh Seung-hwan
2014T22.jpg
Hanshin Tigers – No. 22
Closer
Born: (1982-07-15) July 15, 1982 (age 32)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Professional debut
KBO: April 3, 2005 for the Samsung Lions
NPB: March 29, 2014 for the Hanshin Tigers
KBO statistics
Win-Loss 28-13
Saves 277
Earned Run Average 1.69
WHIP 0.84
Strikeouts 625
NPB statistics
(through 2014)
Win-Loss 2-4
Saves 39
Earned Run Average 1.76
WHIP 0.81
Strikeouts 81
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Oh Seung-hwan
Medal record
Men's baseball
Asian Games
Bronze 2006 Doha Team
Olympics
Gold 2008 Beijing Team
World Baseball Classic
Silver 2009 Los Angeles Team
Bronze 2006 San Diego Team
This is a Korean name; the family name is Oh.

Oh Seung-hwan (Hangul:오 승환, Hanja: 吳 昇桓) (born July 15, 1982 in Jeollabuk-do Jeongeup, South Korea) is a relief pitcher who plays for the Hanshin Tigers in the Nippon Professional Baseball. He is known as "Dol-bucheo" (Stone Buddha) for being unshaken and maintaining an emotionless face in every situation. His prowess as a relief pitcher also earned him the nickname, "Kkeut-pan Wang," or "Final Boss." He is considered to be one of the greatest closers in the history of Korean baseball.

Oh is a 5 ft 10 in, 205 lb right-handed pitcher. As a reliever, Oh throws a 92-94 four-seam fastball (tops out at 97 mph) and a slider as his primary pitches. His signature pitch is his four-seam fastball which, due to its hard rising movement has earned its nickname "stone fastball" in KBO.

Amateur career[edit]

Oh attended Kyunggi High School in Seoul, South Korea. He had been a pitcher since he began baseball, but he switched to the outfield after getting serious arm injuries in 1999. He joined the 2001 KBO draft at the end of his last high school season, but, despite intriguing some MLB scouts, went undrafted, and Oh elected to attend college instead.

Upon graduation from high school, Oh started his collegiate career at Dankook University, but missed the entire 2001 and 2002 seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2001.

In 2003, he came back to the mound, pitching limited innings as a relief pitcher.

In 2004, his senior year at Dankook University, Oh came back - stronger, dominant, in total command and as consistent as ever, sweeping most of the Korean college pitching awards. In June, Oh made his first appearance for the South Korea national baseball team at the 2004 World University Baseball Championship held in Tainan, Taiwan. He led his team to the bronze medal, playing most of the games in closer duty.

Notable international careers[edit]

Year Venue Competition Team Individual Note
2004  Chinese Taipei World University Baseball Championship Bronze medal icon.svg

Professional career[edit]

Samsung Lions (2005-2013)

Oh was selected by the Samsung Lions in the 2nd round (5th pick, 12th overall) of the 2005 KBO Draft. Signed by the Samsung Lions, Oh had a strong rookie season as the Lions setup man and closer in 2005, going 10-1 with a 1.18 ERA, 16 saves (6th in the league) and 115 strikeouts (5th in the league) in 99 innings pitched in 61 games. In the 2005 Korean Series, Oh pitched 7 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts, appearing in 3 games as a closer to lead his team to the Champion, and he was finally named the Korean Series MVP. After the season, Oh was also named KBO Rookie of the Year.

Oh was selected to the roster of the South Korea national baseball team for the inaugural World Baseball Classic prior to the 2006 season.

Oh picked up 40-plus saves in two consecutive seasons (2006 and 2007). He had his second elbow surgery during 2010 season and got back to playoffs in the same year.

He posted a stellar 1.69 ERA and 277 saves in 444 games over the nine seasons that he played for Samsung Lions in Korea's professional baseball league.[1]

Hanshin Tigers (2014)

On November 22, 2013, Oh signed a 99 million yen contract with the Hanshin Tigers, the biggest contract for a Korean baseball player in Japan.[1] Tigers' manager Yutaka Wada suggested offering some Korean-language classes for his players to better communicate with their new teammate, especially the catchers and pitching coaches.[2]

All through-out the 2014 season, he played the role as the Tiger's top closer. On the September 24 match with the Baystars, Oh picked up his 36th save of the season and broke the NPB record for saves by a foreign pitcher in his first year in the NPB.[3] Eddie Gaillard (2000) and Dennis Sarfate (2011) each saved thirty-five games in a season.[4] He also now holds the record for the most saves by a Korean pitcher in their first year in Japan, beating the previous record set by Lim Chang-yong, who had 33 saves in 2008 when he started playing for the Swallows.[5] He notched a total of 39 saves for the season, breaking the NPB record for saves by a Korean pitcher in a single season set by Dong-yeol Sun (38 saves) with Chunichi in 1997.[6] Oh had 277 saves from 2005 to 2013 in Korea, and is now at his 316th, making him the second Korean player to break the 300 mark after Lim Chang-yong.[7]

Notable international careers[edit]

Year Venue Competition Team Individual Note
2006  United States World Baseball Classic Bronze medal icon.svg 0-0, 1 SV, 0.00 ERA (4 G, 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 K)
2006  Qatar Asian Games Bronze medal icon.svg 0-1, 0 SV, 7.71 ERA (2 G, 2.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 K)
2007  Chinese Taipei Asian Baseball Championship Silver medal icon.svg
2008  China Olympic Games Gold medal icon.svg 0-0, 1 SV, 0.00 ERA (2 G, 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 K)
2009  United States World Baseball Classic Silver medal icon.svg 0-1, 0 SV, 18.00 ERA (2 G, 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 K)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Oh Seung-hwan Sworn in as Hanshin Tigers Player". The Chosun Ilbo. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Hanshin Players Told to Learn Korean to Help Oh Seung-hwan Assimilate". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 December 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "September 24 Baseball News". Sanspo.com. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "阪神 終盤に勝ち越す!8回一挙4得点!岩崎5勝目!". Sponichi. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Oh Seung-hwan Sets Rookie Save Record for Korean Pitcher in Japan". The Chosun Ilbo. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "September 28 Baseball News". Sanspo.com. 28 September 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Oh Oh Seung-hwan Makes 300th Save". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 

External links[edit]