155km fireballer – 178km batting average… these are the next big Korean stars

While current Korean big leaguers such as Lee Jung-hoo (San Francisco Giants) and Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) are having a blast, the “next big thing” is preparing to break into the major leagues by working their way up from the lowest levels of the American game.

MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, released the MLB Pipeline’s prospect rankings for the National League Central on June 6 (KST). The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals included Korean prospects in their prospect rankings.

Pittsburgh’s top prospect, Sim Jun-seok (20), was ranked 18th overall. The former Duksugo pitcher, who was considered the No. 1 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 KBO Draft, chose to cross the Pacific instead. He signed a $750,000 contract to play for Pittsburgh. At the time, it was the third-largest contract for an international amateur player. 카지노사이트 He was also recognized as the 10th best international amateur prospect among all 30 major league clubs at the time. Among pitchers, he was the second highest.

Last year, Shim made four starts in the Florida Complex League, a league that features Wonseok’s top prospects. In four games, he pitched eight innings with three hits (one home run), three walks, 13 strikeouts, and three earned runs with a 3.38 ERA. He struck out 14.6 batters per nine innings.

In January,

North American sports media outlet The Athletic ranked Shim as the 11th-best pitching prospect in Pittsburgh. “He pitched just eight innings in the Florida Complex League last year, but he looked good,” said Keith Law, a columnist for The Athletic. He has a fastball that tops out at 100 mph and two changeups with good spin. If an ankle injury didn’t hold him back, he could probably be in low Single-A. He has a strong shoulder and doesn’t have to work too hard for 100 mph. He has a strong shoulder and doesn’t have to work too hard for 100 mph.

MLB Pipeline also said, “Despite being limited to four appearances, Shim has been very impressive in the small sample. At 6’4” (193cm), Sim has the potential to develop into a power pitcher who can mix in four different pitches. His fresh arm is capable of throwing a 100 mph fastball that sits comfortably in the mid-90s. He can also throw a big curveball with a strong 12 to 6 degree angle and add a strong slider. Both pitches have strong rotation. He is also working on gaining consistency with his changeup.

“Overall, he has a clean arm swing and keeps the ball in the zone with good command, but he has spent most of his first pro season honing his mechanics and working on his body to avoid injuries in the future.” “He considers Gerrit Cole a role model, and if all goes well, there could be some similarities,” he said. He praised Shim’s talent and said that he could be similar to last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees) in the future.

MLB Pipeline also introduced another Korean prospect.

Wonbin Cho, 21, an outfielder developing in the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor leagues, is ranked ninth overall in the St. Louis prospect rankings.

After transferring from Whimungo to Seoul Convention High School, Cho showed great power potential and became the first Asian player to win the 2020 World Power Showcase Home Run Derby, totaling 28 home runs in the Under-18 category. He was considered a potential first-round pick in the 2022 First-Year Player Draft, but decided he wanted to play in the majors and signed with St. Louis. The contract was worth $500,000.

In 26 games in the Florida Complex League in 2022, he batted .716 with one home run, three doubles, six RBIs and an OPS of .716 in 76 at-bats, and in 105 games with the Single-A Palm Beach Cardinals last year, he batted .765 with seven home runs, 52 RBIs, 32 doubles and an OPS of .765 in 378 at-bats. He showed off his Hotazun side.

MLB Pipeline took notice of Cho’s power.

“Last year, he hit seven home runs and stole 32 bases at Single-A Palm Beach. He posted an above-average 114 wRC+ (adjusted run production) in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League,” the publication said.

“Don’t be surprised by Cho’s power just yet. The left-handed slugger hit 111.1 mph (178.8 km/h), the same as the 2023 peak bat speeds of Adley Rutchman (Baltimore Orioles), Max Muncy (Los Angeles Dodgers), and Eugenio Suarez (Arizona Diamondbacks).” “Considering he’s still in his 20s, the more he grows and matures, the more he’ll gain. His ground ball rate was 50% as he often looked to send the ball all over the field. He may need to make some changes to his hitting mechanics to get the ball in play. His 14.2% strikeout rate suggests that he is quite selective with his pitches. His 14.2% walk rate supports the belief that he will be an average hitter at the top of the order.

As for defense and baserunning,

“He has the potential to be an average runner. In the games he started, he moved from center field to right field. He has the throwing ability to play right field based on his past experience as a pitcher,” and “If he can convert his natural power into on-base percentage, he has an overall profile.

While Lee Jung-hoo, Kim Ha-seong, 안전놀이터 Go Woo-seok, Bae Ji-hwan, and Choi Ji-man are currently playing in the major leagues, the next generation of Korean big leaguers is hard at work in the minors. And they’re getting good reviews, raising expectations.

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