Rick van den Hurk’s numbers with KBO stats at the background

Rick van den Hurk had a marvelous 2014 season in the KBO. As we all may know by now, the former Major Leaguer (Marlins, Orioles, and Pirates) won the league’s awards for lowest ERA  and most strikeouts.

When you know that the  KBO is a very offensive league with an average of 5.71 runs per game, you will understand that his ERA of 3.18 is an outstanding mark. His number of strikouts, 180, was the highest, two more than KBO MVP Andy van Hekken (Nexen Heroes). Van Hekken’s ERA was much higher with 3.51, but compared with Van den Hurk, Van Hekken led the league with 20 victories over 6 losses. Van den Hurk ranked fifth in wins: 13 over 4 losses. Van den Hurk needed 152.2 innings to accomplish these feats while Van Hekken pitched 187.0 .

Van den Hurk kept his opponents to a batting average of .222  while Van Hekken allowed them to hit .270. So keeping in mind that the KBO is a hitters league, I think that Rick van den Hurk had a hell of a season  in 2014.

His good numbers resulted in a two year contract with the Softbank Hawks of the Nippon Professional Baseball League. Over the 2014 season, the average number of runs per game in the NPB was 4.12. In the Pacific League, where the Hawks are playing, the average was 4.00 per game.
In general the level of the NPB is a bit higher than the level of the KBO. I do not doubt that Van den Hurk will succeed, but it remains to be seen if he can keep up the numbers that he produced in Korea.

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