Instead of staying in Korea, Shim Jun-seok (19), a “fastball prospect,” announced that he would advance to the United States. Will it be possible for a Korean pitcher who has been out of business for 17 years to make a ‘big league debut after going directly to the United States’?
There are rumors that Shim Jun-seok is about to sign a contract with a major league (MLB) team. The American media outlet The Athletic reported on the 12th (Korean time) that “a contract between Shim Jun-seok and Pittsburgh is imminent.”
Shim Jun-seok, who is graduating from Deoksu High School this year, has a strong physique of 194 cm and 103 kg, and his strength is his fastball with a maximum speed of 160 km per hour (practice in 2022). Although he had a hard time finding his first pitch last year, he gave up 35 4-pitch pitches, but his pitching, striking out 40 in 20⅔ innings, was excellent.
He received good reviews abroad as well. MLB.com, the official homepage of Major League Baseball, placed Shim Jun-seok at the 10th place in the list of international prospects. The media said, “Scouts who saw Shim Jun-seok’s pitching claim that he threw the best ball in the world in 2022.”
At the same time, he said, “I throw a fastball that consistently reaches 94 to 96 miles (about 151.3 to 154.5 km) over 100 miles per hour (about 160.9 km), and the 12-6 curve is excellent.” he explained.
With this evaluation at the forefront, Shim Jun-seok challenged to advance to the big leagues ahead of the 2023 KBO draft. Expectations were raised when he signed a contract with Boras Corporation of ‘The Devil’s Agent’ Scott Boras. Eventually he was over the year and his international contract came to fruition.
Shim Jun-seok’s trip to the United States is virtually certain. Now, people’s eyes are on whether or not he will debut in the major leagues. His contract itself is difficult, but it is even more difficult to step on the big league stage.
Before the KBO League free agent system was created or at the beginning of its introduction, Korean players who went straight from amateurs climbed the mound in the major leagues. The first Korean major leaguer, Park Chan-ho (50), signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers after finishing his sophomore year at Hanyang University, and went straight to the major leagues in 1994 without going through the minor leagues.
Then, Jinho Cho (48, debuted in 1998), Byunghyun Kim (44, debuted in 1999), Seonwoo Kim (46, debuted in 2001), Bong Joong-geun (43), and Jae-eung Seo (46, debuted in 2002) went directly to the United States, followed by 4 He was on the big league stage in two years. In the meantime, there was only one player, Lee Sang-hoon (52, debuted in 2000), who went through the KBO.
However, starting with Baek Cha-seung (43 years old, now American nationality) in 2004, the number of major league debut cases of direct American pitchers began to decline. In particular, Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto), Lim Chang-yong (47), Oh Seung-hwan (41, Samsung), Kim Gwang-hyeon (35, SSG), and Yang Hyeon-jong (35, KIA), who reached the big leagues after the debut of Ryu Je-guk (40) in 2006, are all They were pitchers who came through the KBO league.
This became one of the factors that convinced Shohei Otani (29, LA Angels) of Japan that the NPB Nippon-Ham Fighters persuaded him when he graduated from high school. In the data prepared by Nippon Ham at the time, it was 온라인카지노 emphasized that not one of the 21 Korean high school graduates who entered the United States from 2006 to 2012 did not make it to the big leagues. Among the eligible players after that, only Choi Ji-man (32, contract in 2009-debut in 2016), a hitter, had experience in the major leagues.
There were also Lee Seung-hak (44), Song Seung-jun (43), and Lee Dae-eun (34), who had risen to Triple A, but eventually gave up the challenge right before the big leagues. That’s how difficult it is for a pitcher to make his big league debut.
What is hopeful for the hitter is that players who went directly to the US were promoted to the major leagues twice in the preceding two seasons. Park Hyo-joon (27), who signed a contract with the New York Yankees in July 2014, was called up in July 2021 after 7 years. Bae Ji-hwan (24), who signed a contract with Pittsburgh in 2018, also appeared in the big leagues in September last year. This was the first time since Choi Ji-man in 2016.
Shim Jun-seok also had to jump into a difficult fight. As talented as he is, if he endures the patience he will spend in the minor leagues, he will be the ninth pitcher to make it to the big league mound without going through the KBO.