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TT: Something to consider when talking about Hyun Soo Kim

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[video=youtube;VvHyPTjj3qU]

Note the left field and right field foul poles are at 100M, or 300 feet. Most american high school outfield fences are going to be longer than this stadium in the video.

100M = 328 feet. 5 feet shorter to left but 10 feet longer than Camden Yards.

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[video=youtube;W4HXvsSeil4]

Some info from Daniel Kim who follows the KBO league.

He calls him a "contact hitter" and not a power hitter. Wasn't drafted out of high school and basically "walked on" to KBO team. Fierce competitor who doesn't give up "ABs" who will make opposing pitcher's "life miserable".

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I'd think that we signed him off of a scouting report and not just his stat line compared to former American players. Thames does have a career .727 OPS in the MLB in 684 PA's. I think we'd all be happy if Kim could put up a .750 OPS.

Do they PED test in the KBO? Why wouldn't these players use to try and get back to the MLB or to try and just extend their careers and make as much money as possible. Thames in 2014 in the KBO had 37 HR's and 58 BB's. In 2015 he had 47 HR's and 104 BB's. The pitchers are obviously intimidated by the American players. Check out the BB rates.

I'd look more into the success that Kim had during the WBC. The guy killed it in the 2009 WBC. I'd take international success, scouting reports, possible PED use, pitcher intimidation, all into account when comparing Kim to the Americans in the KBO.

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Personally, unless he implodes during spring training, I think he's going to get the majority of starts in LF through the first month or two. If he struggles, I could see his playing time lesson. DD has shown in the past that he's willing to eat bad contracts so if he's terrible I don't see Buck keep running him out there for an entire season.

I'm honestly interested in seeing how his numbers translate while playing in the AL East.

I hope that they give him an adequate adjustment period and they just don't stick him on the bench early as he is likely to be bad at the plate while he adapts to ML pitching and then somehow expect that he will improve off the bench. Kang was pretty awful in the first month or two of last year while getting acclimated to the pace and patterns of American ML pitching. My fear is that Buck will just send him to the bench too soon without giving him a fair look. He deserves much more of an extended look than most as he will not be able to go down to Norfolk to get straightened out.

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In the era of brain-melting, mega contracts, I'd be more than fine with 1-2 wins for Kim's salary. Not counting on it, but hopeful.
Likewise. No one thought Chen could pitch in the AL East either.

Chen played in AAAA. Kim played in AA.

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Chen played in AAAA. Kim played in AA.

That's a vague approximation. Japan, Taiwan, Cuba, Korea, Mexico... they're all independent or mostly independent leagues. The quality of play is lower than MLB, but the spread is wider. There are probably good MLB players in each of those leagues, but they're playing alongside guys who'd probably be in Frederick or Salisbury. Sometimes that just results in lower quality of play, sometimes it means a 17-year-old gets developmental opportunities he would never have gotten in the states by playing against MLBers.

That's why you need good scouting, to determine if the guy has the chops to hit good pitching, or if he's only feasting on middle relievers with 80 mph fastballs.

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Should I be encourage at all that he's held his own in the World Baseball Classics?

As encouraged as you can be about 50(?) PAs against wildly varying levels of competition. I'd be more encouraged by his presence there, and in a starting lineup, as a proxy for scouting reports than by specific results.

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As encouraged as you can be about 50(?) PAs against wildly varying levels of competition. I'd be more encouraged by his presence there, and in a starting lineup, as a proxy for scouting reports than by specific results.

Agreed. I don't think you can put too much into his performance in the WBC especially considering the small sample size.

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Agreed. I don't think you can put too much into his performance in the WBC especially considering the small sample size.

And the varying state of readiness of the participants.

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I've never seen the guy play and I know it's being reported that Brady Anderson is working with him this offseason, but a 6-2, 240 pound guy who plays LF in the KBO does not make me think he's going to be plus defender. I could be wrong, but it's a concern.

He doesn't exactly look like a fatso. I understand your point. But this body + Brady and spring training could get him where he needs to be.

bal-orioles-officially-sign-hyun-soo-kim-20151223

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I'd think that we signed him off of a scouting report and not just his stat line compared to former American players. Thames does have a career .727 OPS in the MLB in 684 PA's. I think we'd all be happy if Kim could put up a .750 OPS.

Do they PED test in the KBO? Why wouldn't these players use to try and get back to the MLB or to try and just extend their careers and make as much money as possible. Thames in 2014 in the KBO had 37 HR's and 58 BB's. In 2015 he had 47 HR's and 104 BB's. The pitchers are obviously intimidated by the American players. Check out the BB rates.

I'd look more into the success that Kim had during the WBC. The guy killed it in the 2009 WBC. I'd take international success, scouting reports, possible PED use, pitcher intimidation, all into account when comparing Kim to the Americans in the KBO.

I'm positive the Orioles did that as well, but all I'm alluding too is that guys who weren't too good in AAA a few years ago were Barry Bonds over there. Drungo is right though about the competition in the KBO. There are major league quality guys and guys who probably wouldn't even be playing pro ball in the states playing in the same league.

The few video's I saw of Kim showed him turning on a high inside 92 MPH fastball so that suggests he's got some bat speed. He also drove the ball the other way in another AB so he shows some hitting skills. The question will be can he handle premium velocity and can he adjust to the better breaking stuff he will see? He definitely has some tools to work from though.

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Good article. The thing that made me like Kim is the low SO rate and high walk rate - not so much the power. But I have to agree there are a lot of red flags, and he's a likely option because of the lack of good options. The O's organization has really failed at getting good OF talent.

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