Giants’ slugger Han Dong-hui named KBO’s top player for April

SEOUL-- The Lotte Giants' emerging slugger Han Dong-hui has been named South Korean baseball's top player for April.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Monday that Han, 22, won the voting for the Player of the Month honor for the opening month of the season.

Han earned 24 out of 32 votes cast by media to lead eight candidates and finished second in fan voting, behind the SSG Landers' starting pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun, with 48,131 votes out of 302,035.

Han finished with 45.47 points, converted from the vote totals. Kim, who received six media votes but led the way with 173,382 votes from fans, was the runner-up overall with 38.08 points.

This is the first monthly award for Han, who made his KBO debut in 2018 and appears to be finally delivering on his considerable potential.

After 24 games in April, Han was leading the KBO in batting average (.427), home runs (seven), on-base percentage (.485) and slugging percentage (.764). The third baseman also ranked second in hits (38) and RBIs (22). He had a 17-game hitting streak from April 10 to 30.

Thanks to Han's offensive exploits, the Giants, regarded by many pundits as a nonplayoff team this year, closed April in second place, with a record of 14-9-1 (wins-losses-ties).

They have cooled off a bit in May, having slid down to fourth place at 16-14-1. They have dropped their past four consecutive games while scoring only five runs.

Han will receive 2 million won (US$1,570) in prize money, along with a gold bar worth 750,000 won, courtesy of Shinhan Bank, the title sponsor of the 2022 KBO season.

Shinhan Bank will also donate 1 million won to Han's alma mater, Gyeongnam Middle School, in the player's name.

Source: Yonhap News Agency