The St. Louis Cardinals signed Seung-hwan Oh before the 2016 season after he spent 11 seasons in foreign leagues. Now, after his rookie year, he is considered one of the top relievers in all of baseball.
The St. Louis Cardinals have had a few players make MLB Network’s top 10 position rankings and now the 2016 closer, Seung-hwan Oh, will join them. He was ranked 7th among all relievers on the following list:
- Andrew Miller – LHP, Cleveland Indians
- Aroldis Chapman – LHP, New York Yankees
- Zach Britton – LHP, Baltimore Orioles
- Kenley Jansen – RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Wade Davis – RHP, Chicago Cubs
- Mark Melancon – RHP, San Francisco Giants
- Seung-hwan Oh – RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
- Dellin Betances – RHP, New York Yankees
- Jeurys Familia – RHP, New York Mets
- Will Harris – RHP, Houston Astros
Oh was able to crack this incredible list of relievers after such a strong 2016 season that also happened to be his first in the major leagues. Over the course of his rookie season, Oh appeared in 76 games recording 19 saves out of 23 opportunities. Oh became the closer for the Cardinals after Trevor Rosenthal‘s catastrophic decline.
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Oh also showed an incredible ability to deceive batters and recorded 103 strikeouts in only 79.2 innings. Part of his strong strikeout ability was due to his control of not only his fastball, but also his secondary pitches. As a result, he only walked 18 batters and held a 5.72 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Ultimately, Oh was a top 6 finalist for National League Rookie of the Year and made a strong name for himself in the United States. He was already known as one of, if not the best relievers in Korea and Japan and the 34-year old continued that success here. “The Final Boss” was one of his many nicknames and it seemed more than appropriate after his 2016 season performance.
Oh finished the season with a 1.92 ERA and looks to be the closer for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017. Trevor Rosenthal is in the middle of a transition period finding out what his role is for the Redbirds while Kevin Siegrist and Brett Cecil will be relied on in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. With the combination of the four relievers, the Cardinals have a bullpen that could be considered one of the best in all of baseball.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Oh both are honored by him cracking the top 10 list of all relievers but both are looking towards the 2017 season. The Cardinals are hoping their pitching can return to top form and Oh is hoping he can repeat his success and cash-in as he will be entering free agency following the 2017 season. It is unknown if the Cardinals and Oh will negotiate a new contract but both know that they need each other to be successful this season.